Glass painting is one of the independent art form of visual arts, which is a combination of both folk and fine art. This art form is highly regarded with several varieties. Across antiquity this kind of painting is found in major differences of style, technique and purpose that are used. Glass painting is one of the few types of painting that is multi-faceted that arrives in a number of forms such as reverse glass painting, fused glass painting, stained glass painting and many more to name. Reverse glass painting is one among such technique that is similar to the usual glass painting. This glass painting is considered as the sacral painting since middle age.
Generally glass painting is jumbled with stained glass painting. The stained glass painting is referred as the ancient Roman art and the reverse glass painting can also be traced back to Renaissance’s fashioned art of Italy. Here the reverse glass painting differs from stained glass painting in several ways. This stained glass was used in the creation of windows in Church. The stained glass window was created out of many glass pieces that were colored by the additional powdered metals. Whereas in reverse glass painting, the clear glass is used as a canvas on which the paints were added. Firing helped the paints to stick to the glass. Gold gilt is often used in the creation of the painted glass work. This practice is known as ‘verre eglomise’, which was later popularized after an artist named Jean-Baptiste Glomy promoted it.
Now the glass painting is practiced worldwide. The root of this art reaches Romans and later popularized in Byzantine iconography. Further this ancient practice of glass painting was proficient in Italy that influenced the Renaissance art. By 17th century this art started spreading to different countries across the globe. In the mid of 18th century it spread to Europe and the artists of China learnt the art of glass painting from Europeans. Later in early 19th century the trade relations between East India Company and China brought this art to India. The works of Chinese artists of glass painting was immensely praised by the Indian rulers during those days. As this art touched the Indian shores, it showed its splendor in the western part of the country, especially in Gujarat state.
Indian style of glass painting was noted for their sheer brilliance, stunning clarity and use of rich bright colors. This art in India developed the local painters who focused on ornamental nature, portraits of God, figures narrating mythology, famous epic themes, icons and etc that were depicted. This form of art framed the stairs of acceptance among the masses. The artisans also made the depictions of the rulers and lords including their mistresses and dancing girls. The technique of each region differed from one another along with their creativity. These days it has also been incorporated in many new ways. In some parts of India like Gujarat and South India glass paintings that are produced, carry out two distinct ways. Firstly the popular contemporary style of glass painting and in the second the tradition of folk painting. In the contemporary style of glass painting, the predominant India has exceeded the barriers of religious prejudices and mythological inferences. Whereas the traditional paintings that are done on the glasses are typical folk features that are mentioned with great clarity of outset with a symmetrical bias. Here the drawings made are typically bold and vigorous. These glass paintings are also embellished with small glitters, gold leaf, and other shining particles that make the painting more attractive. The rich usage of bold and vibrant colors and semi-precious stones that are also used convey the creative splendor of the skillful artisans.
Glass painting themes vary from region to region. In Bihar, the glass paintings are very different in form and theme, when compared to other regions. They are usually large pictures of religious themes and are illustrated by their fine line work with vibrant colors. Bengal glass paintings can be recognized by the distinguishing figures and costumes and the soft pastel shades that are used. The tradition of glass painting in Thanjavur of Tamil Nadu is still carried out. Here the artisans create the paintings of Thanjavur sacred icon. The other major centres of glass painting that are located in India are Andhra Pradesh, Awadh, Deccan, Hyderabad, Karnataka, Kerala, Kutch, Mumbai, New Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Satara.