My technique is called
Reverse Glass Gilding,
also known as Verre églomisé,
from the French term.
It is a process in which the back side
of glass is gilded with gold or metal leaf Material and application:
gold leaf, silver leaf, paint, applied
to the underside of a sheet of glass.
The technique dates back to the pre-Roman eras, but its name is derived from 18th-century French decorator and art-dealer, Jean-Baptiste Glomy (1711–1786), who is responsible for its revival, hence the transformation of his last name into Eglomise (from/by Mr.Glomy). Mr. Glomy framed prints using glass that had been reverse-painted.
The technique dates back from the the Middle Ages throughout Europe until early 20th Century. Unfortunately, during the inter-war period (1914–1945) this traditional "naive" technique fell nearly to a complete oblivion. It started to become popular again in the 1990s, but the style of painting and especially the themes had to be varied and adjusted to new perceptions of the world in modern times.
Modern variations can be found as new materials become available to artisans. J. Kenton Manning (b. 1958-), a former painting technique instructor, taught (in 1985 at UCI) reverse painting on glass as well as painting on celluloid, a popular technique in the animation industry. The technique is also seen as window signs and advertising mirrors.
Like traditional verre églomisé, proper lighting is essential to produce the artist's intended effect.
Angel In Love
oil, silver, glass
7 x 5 in.
New Orleans Museum of Art
John W. Keefe - 3/19/1997
Curator of Decorative Arts