History of Glass Painting
Glass Paintings » History of Glass Painting
There are many different forms of art and craft. Art is something that is not limited by boundaries, religion, culture, language, etc. It allows one to express oneself beautifully. Paintings, sculptures, dance, singing, etc., are different forms of art. Each of these categories is sub-categorized further, and each category is thus very vast. Paintings, for example, have so many different types like glass paintings, cloth painting, canvas painting, etc. Each type has its own specialty and techniques. Glass painting, also known as reverse glass painting, which is one very popular style of glass painting, is one very popular art form, and has its roots in many ancient cultures such as China, Byzantium, Rome, etc.
As mentioned above, it is difficult to trace the origin of this art; however, the prominent use of this art was seen in the 10th century in Europe, wherein many churches portrayed this form of art on the glass windows of the church. The windows had the paintings of Christ, and other characters from the Bible, with the help of which they could easily narrate the stories pictographically. Later, it was seen in British, German, and French churches. The 12th century Gothic period saw the use of this art in the Gothic style, and the first church that portrayed this art in Gothic style is the Abbey of St. Denis. The popularity of this art had grown so much that later it spread to Italy and created a huge impact on the Renaissance art.
Landscapes, genre paintings, portraits, etc., became quite popular as themes of glass paintings, other than the characters from Bible. By 18th century, almost all churches used this art, and in the 19th century, it became the prominent art form of Bavaria, Moravia, Slovakia, and Austria.
With the passage of time, these glass paintings were modified, altered, and the influence of every culture was seen in this art. In the 20th century, the painting techniques also underwent a change, and acrylic colors, oil paints, etc., were being used for making these beautiful pieces of art.
This art form is now very prominent in China, India, and many other parts of Asia. Young artists, try to give it a different feel by adding their innovations to it. Many artists from India, experiment with this art, and their artworks have been, and are being recognized in the world of arts. The portraits look livelier with the use of gems, embellishments, sparkle colors, gold and silver powder, etc., used for highlighting jewelry, fabric, etc., and a 3D outliner gives it the most perfect look ever.
Contemporary Glass painting:
Initially the huge windows of church, monasteries, etc., served as a base for glass paintings. However, times have changed now, and this is more like a hobby to many. It is no longer restricted to huge glass windows, but small pieces of glass with beautiful paintings on it are put up as wall hangings in many houses. The reflection of the contemporary lifestyles, culture, and art is seen in these paintings. Earlier, painting of Christ, and characters from the Bible were portrayed on huge glass windows, but today’s glass paintings give complete freedom to the artist to portray anything of his/her choice on the glass.
Initially, the artists painted on the reverse side of the glass, and while doing so they had to make sure that every aspect is painted correctly, such that when the glass is turned around, the actual image could be seen. This was because, the huge window glasses served as a base for this art. Thus, the painting should be such, that when the window opens, it portrays exactly what the artist wanted to. However, now since this art is not just limited to such portraits and glass windows, the artists paint on the front side of the glass and the rear side of the glass is opaque. Such paintings are then framed. Thus, the contemporary glass painting is comparatively simple as compared to the reverse painting style that emerged initially.
Although there is nothing concrete enough to prove the origin of this art, to give information about the beginners of this art, etc., this is a very old form of art, and its reflections can be seen in many ancient structures. Although, the art is very ancient, it is still quite popular and many people still learn the art of glass painting. With the times to come, we might get to see many variations, distinct designs, different ideas, etc., reflected through this art, but the core beauty of glass painting remains the same.