19th Century American Back-Painted Mirror
A mid-19th century reverse painted panel and mirror framed in Federal style. This type of mirror was often an architectural representation of the home in which it would hang. The frame on our mirror is beautifully made of carved and turned wood darkened with age. A pair of acanthus-leaved columns with fluted footings and simple turned capitals flank either side of the mirror. The projecting Federal style crest molding across the top has carved medallions to either side. Below the crest is the eglomise folk art landscape with a country home. The mirror is clear and possibly an early replacement. Original pine boards are at the back. An outstanding example of the eglomise mirror. 23 3/8" X 13 1/4"
Interesting to know: Although 17th century Chinese artists are often credited for the creation of reverse painting, the technique actually began in the West. Glass back-painting or reverse glass painting is an ancient art first practiced in Egypt ca 4th Century AD. Byzantine Empire back-painted glass icons are best known for their beauty. During the Renaissance, the art spread to Venice. It was not until the mid-17th century that the technique was carried into China by the Jesuits who introduced Western technologies including glass and mirror production to the Kangxi court. Interest in and skill in glass back-painting in China grew in tandem with east-west maritime trade.