Reverse Painted Mirror in Gilded Wood Frame

Object Name: 
Reverse Painted Mirror in Gilded Wood Frame

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Object Name: 
Reverse Painted Mirror in Gilded Wood Frame
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
98.3.18
Dimensions: 
Overall H: 145 cm, W: 72.2 cm; a) H: 91.0 cm, W: 72.2 cm, D: 8.1 cm; b) H: 67.0 cm, W: 70.4 cm, D: 16.2 cm
Location: 
On Display
Date: 
about 1720-1730
Web Description: 
During the Northern Baroque period, craftsmen produced mirrors as integral parts of elegant interiors. This example is attributed to the Stockholm workshop of Christian and Gustaf Precht, sons of the well-known woodcarver and furniture maker Burchardt Precht the Elder. It is decorated with ornate and very accomplished reverse painting. In this technique, a design is painted on the back side of the glass but viewed from the front (that is, through the glass). The paint is applied in the reverse of the normal order, beginning with the highlights and ending with the background. The Corning mirror shows a jester dancing under a canopy. This motif was inspired by the published designs of Jean Berain the Elder (1640-1711), royal designer to King Louis XIV of France. In the early 18th century, jesters and mirrors often appeared in allegories of vanity, symbolizing human folly and haughtiness. Mirrors of this type with figural decoration are exceedingly rare.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Daxer & Marschall Kunsthandels, Source
1998-02-06
Category: 
Primary Description: 
Frame: carved, polished, gessoed, gilded; glass panels: cast, rolled, polished, painted, silvered. The rectangular plate glass mirror is set in an ornate, carved, gessoed and gilded wood framework. The frame surrounding the looking glass is decorated with narrow mirror panels, which are painted on the reverse with detailed, polychrome garlands. Surmounting the mirror is an elaborately carved pediment, consisting of symmetrical scrollwork embellished with acanthus leaves and a pair of flower vases. The central glass panel fitted into this pediment is decorated with a baroque cartouche of a jester dancing under a canopy. This panel is flanked by two others painted with cornucopias; the one above depicts a bird surrounded by floral sprays and holding a berry in its beak. The flanking panels below show a pair of putti holding flower baskets and floral sprays.
Escort Guide to the Galleries (2013) illustrated, p. 16; BIB# 134015
Escort Guide to the Galleries [V4/2013] (2013) illustrated, p. 16; BIB# 134856
Mirrors: Reflections of Style (2012) illustrated, p. 118, right;
Did You Know? (2007-04) illustrated, p. 18;
Recent Important Acquisitions, 41 (1999) illustrated, pp. 182-183, #9; BIB# AI43981
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 1998 (1999) illustrated, p. 6;