Screen Panel

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Object Name: 
Screen Panel
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 64.8 cm, W: 28.5 cm
Not on Display
probably 1800-1899
Credit Line: 
Transfer from The Rakow Library
Web Description: 
This extraordinary panel is made of two rectangular sheets of assembled hollow glass canes. Sandwiched between the panes is a gouache on paper showing glassblowers working at the kiln. This work was probably made for a tall table screen or a room screen (paravent) and initially set in a solid wooden frame with carved and gilded or inlaid decoration. A foot or base would have allowed the panel to be displayed upright so that it could make the best use of the daylight that illuminated the painted depiction. Similar panels were sometimes used in stage settings for Chinese opera or theater performances, in which they were backlighted by candles. Here, however, the fine execution and detail, as well as the subject matter, suggest that the panel was meant to be seen and studied up close, rather than used as a stage backdrop. Stylistically, the decoration is highly remarkable. Its format, and especially its lack of perspective, presents iconographic features that are well known from contemporaneous Asian scroll paintings. The composition of the picture was built up vertically, with the background on top and the foreground on the bottom. It thus serves as a reminder of western European panels, such as the medieval illuminated manuscript illustration of forest glass production from the “Travels of Sir John Mandeville” (Bohemia, about 1410; The British Library, London, Ms. Add. 24189, f. 16), which predate the understanding of perspective. Perspective was first employed by Italian draftsmen and painters during the Renaissance.
Frides Kunst en Antiekhandel V.O.F., Source
Primary Description: 
Colorless glass canes; assembled. Made of two rectangular panels of assembled hollow glass canes that sandwich between the two panes a gouache drawing on paper. This panel was probably made for a table screen, and was originally framed in a solid wooden frame (probably carved / maybe inlayed) with a foot or base that would have been displayed upright and profit from the daylight illuminating the painted scene of glass blowers working at the kiln. Colorless, non-lead? glass, watercolor pigment (gouache).
Scenes of Glassblowing Workshops at Guangzhou & Boshan (2014) illustrated, pp. 32, 34; BIB# 140419
Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses (Volume 3) (2012) pp. 79, 683; BIB# 61154
Chinese Pictorial Screens, an Investigation of 19th Century Glass Cane Panels (2012) illustrated, pp. 542, 545-546 (fig. 1, fig. 5-6); BIB# AI101541
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2010 (2011) illustrated, pp. 26-27, #15; BIB# AI86878