Pair of antique reverse glass paintings
Continental, 18th Century
Frame: Height 46cm, width 40cm, depth 3.5cm
Glass: Height 38cm, width 32cm
The paintings in this pair depict two complementary subjects and do so in a decidedly Renaissance manner. One painting portrays Venus and Cupid, the gods of love, desire, attraction, and all attendant feelings; the other painting depicts a courting couple, a shepherd and a shepherdess, as they play music amidst their flock. The implication is clear: Venus and Cupid have acted upon the couple, who are quite clearly in love.
The paintings, which date from the 18th Century, are unusual due to their manner of execution: they are reverse glass paintings. The process of reverse glass painting entails paint being applied to glass: consequently, accents and other features that would normally be applied last in painting are applied first, with background details being added later. The process is extremely difficult and tedious, and the effect is equally impressive.
The paintings are contained by carved giltwood frames.