Glass Paintings


There is very little that is comparable to the beauty of a glass painting. The effect of light streaming through the patterns of painted glass is indeed ethereal.

The Origin and Spread of Glass Painting

It is difficult to say exactly when and where glass painting originated, but it is believed that the revitalization of art that took place during the Italian Renaissance gave birth to this beautiful form of painting. Glass paintings during the Renaissance were in the miniature style, and dealt with Biblical themes. They adorned church altars and windows.

The art of glass painting gained more sophistication In Austria, and it slowly spread all over Europe. It did not take it too long to reach Asia either.

Glass Painting in India

In India, Glass painting gained popularity fairly late, as compared to the European nations. It emerged in the state of Gujarat in around the 18th century. It was the Chinese merchants who settled around the coastal regions of this state who influenced this style of painting. Soon it was internalized by the artists, and they experimented and made several innovations. The art form also spread to other parts of the country such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka,

Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Awadh, New Delhi, Bihar, Bengal, Deccan, Satara, Hyderabad and Bombay. Artists in these regions, made their own variations. In this way, Indian glass painting developed a distinct character.

Indian Glass paintings are distinguished by their bright colors and ornamental nature. Sometimes they are embellished with gold leaves and semi precious stones. The themes are more or less similar to the miniature paintings . They depict Radha-Krishna Leelas, mythological figures and traditionally dressed men and women.

The Technique of Glass Painting

Glass paintings are sometimes called stained glass paintings. This name hints at the process of creation. An engraving is laid down on the back of the glass. The designs are outlined. Thereafter, special glass paints are applied. These paints are water or gum arabic based. They are fired onto the glass using a kiln. The heat of the kiln ensures that they permanently bond with the glass. Since glass paintings are painted on the reverse, they are also called reverse glass paintings.

Glass Painting Today

Development of synthetic colors has gone a long way in keeping the art of glass painting alive. Art enthusiasts can buy their own glass painting kits and experiment with this art form. Today, almost every other household is adorned with a stained glass painting.

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