Reverse Glass Portrait of Empress Dowager Cixi

Early 20th Century
$3,280 USD SOLD
W: 16.0" D: 1.25" H: 25.25"
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Painted with intricate detail and vibrant colors, this portrait of a seated noble woman is an exquisite example of Chinese reverse glass painting. Popularized during the Qing dynasty, reverse glass painting requires an artist to essentially work backwards, starting with details and shading before adding color and form. Lending the finished work a subtle three-dimensional effect, this exacting technique doesn't allow for any corrections, and is only revealed to its full effect when the glass pane is turned around.

This finely painted example dates to the early 20th century and depicts the Empress Dowager Cixi, who effectively controlled the Chinese government from 1861 until her death in 1908. Her portrait is drawn with fantastic detail - delicate linework textures her throne with carved scrollwork, pearls and beadwork adorn her headpiece, and her golden silk robes are beautifully patterned with Shou symbols (壽), grapes, and beaded fringe.

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Andrea Goldman | Andrea Goldman Design

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