This scarce and very early reverse print on glass dates to the mid 18th century, to the year 1754. The sitter is named as Miss Lewis after the painting by the Swiss artist Jean Étienne Liotard (1702-89) of his niece Mademoiselle Lavergne. Our original reverse glass portrait is THE perfect artwork for the Liotard collector, your period interior or for the historical fashion collector. We adore the detailed early 18th century costume of Miss Lewis. We see her wearing typical attire for a 1730s lady. Women's gowns of this period were constructed in 3 separate pieces: the petticoat, the triangular corset insert called a stomacher and the over gown. Her robe a l'anglaise gown has deep winged cuffs of silk brocade. She also wears a crucifix on a ribbon and is reading a letter. This Georgian engraving of Miss Lewis is ready to hang and admire....the magic of reverse engravings on glass is more revealed when viewed as they were intended by gentle candlelight.
Reverse glass printing was a very fashionable process introduced at the start of the 18th century. It involved transferring a print/engraving to the reverse of a sheet of glass, then varnishing and hand coloring from behind to resemble an oil painting.
The print was published by John Bowles at No.13 Cornhill, London. The reverse print is housed in its original stained wood frame, we just love the old wavy glass.For an example of this engraving please see Museum number 1874,0711.887 in the British Museum Online Collection. The Royal Collection Trust also owns a 1760 Purcell engraving of Miss Lewis; or Miss Lavergne, niece of Liotard the artist.
Measuring: Frame width 12.75 inch (32 cm) by height 16.75 inch (42.5 cm). Aperture width 10 inch (25.5 cm) by height 14 inch (35.5 cm).
Condition: Very good considering its 263 years of age with some tonal darkening to the reverse print to be expected after two centuries.
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