The artist who uses transparent glass as the support for his or her painting creates two pictures simultaneously. The picture is on the painted surface; the second appears through the opposite side of the glass as a reversed image. It is shiny because the pigment adheres directly to the glass. The former underside of the painting, firmly bonded to the glass, becomes the surface that is meant to be seen. The completed work is called a reverse painting on glass.
This catalog of the Museum's 1992 exhibition (April 25 - October 18) tells the history of reverse painting on glass in Europe until about 1850. It features descriptions and illustrations of more than 100 “easel quality” examples from the private collection of Mr. and Mrs. Frieder Ryser of Bern, Switzerland. This is the first book in English on this subject.
Based on the book Verzauberte Bilder: Die Kunst der Malerei hinter Glas von der Antike bis zum 18. Jarhundert by Frieder Ryser, translated and edited by Rudy Eswarin