Reverse Glass Painting - Madonna & Child

Reverse Glass Painting - Madonna & Child


A Romanian reverse glass painted ikon, depicting a Madonna & Child. The madonna is crowned and robed in red; she holds the infant Christ in navy blue. They are framed by garlands of flowers with an unusually thick, colourful stem and surmounted by onion domes, typical of orthodox churches.

This type of charming, naïve ikon was produced in Transylvania in the mid 20th century. The images were painted directly onto glass, beginning with the outlines and the foreground before building up towards the background - the opposite practise from a regular painting. This technique has been popular in Romania since the 17th century, when it was introduced by the ruling Hapsburg Empire. Folk artists took the German technique, but adapted it to create cheap and colourful icons for the local orthodox population.

The picture is in good condition and has been backed with card for protection. The original frame is hung by the traditional method, with wire looped through a central hole. There is some evidence of woodworm in the frame, which has been treated.

It measures 36 x 47 cm.

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