Reverse Glass Painting

The collection of more than 200 works of reverse glass painting, dated between around 1750 to the beginning of the 20th century, from Kaiserswalde (Lasówka) in the county of Glatz (Klodzko) is unique in Germany. As far as we know, this was the only region in Silesia where reverse glass painting was made. The art of reverse glass painting is closely related to catholic popular piety and pilgrimage.

This particular sector of crafts started to develop towards the end of the 18th century in Kaiserswalde (Lasówka), which was located directly at the border to Bohemia with its distinct tradition in reverse glass painting, Whole generations of families of painters, such as the Rohrbach family or the Wenzel family, created huge numbers of paintings, systematically involving their family members in the manufacturing process, until the trade came to a standstill towards the end of the 19th century due to the newly-developed colourful paper prints (chromolithography), which were much cheaper.

Most of the reverse glass paintings show religious motifs: scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, numerous paintings of Saints, or places of pilgrimages and images of grace.

SMG, Reverse Glass Painting from the Collection of Heidi and Fritz Helle
© SMG, Photo Przemysław Jermaczek