Murnau artist, c. 1780. Vitromusée Romont.

Donation of Reverse Paintings

Reverse painting on glass is understood to encompass all forms of decoration directly applied to the reverse side of a piece of glass. The effect of the reverse painting can only be appreciated when the light falls on it from the front, viewing side and is reflected by the decorated glass, contrary to stained glass, where the light needs to shine through the glass from behind.

While reverse painting and stained-glass have in common the use of glass, the paint is different. Stained-glass uses a special glass-paint, which is burned on the glass, reverse-glass uses pigment paint similar to easel paintings.

The Glass Museum (Vitromusée) in Romont presents a new donation and collection of reverse painting by Jochem Poensgen (1931). It is in Switzerland more than any other region that, in the 16th and seventeenth centuries, the close connection between reverse painting and stained-glass painting can be seen, based on the influence of the Netherlands-Burgundian style.

The museum also shows the early development of stained-glass paintings, from the Middle-Ages, tot the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Art Nouveau and modern and contemporary works and the history of reverse painting from the thirteenth century onwards and its heyday of Baroque religious themes in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including the Ruth and Frieder Ryser Collection. (Source and further information: