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Reverse painting on glass




Frame: 14-1/2 in x 18-3/8 in x 1 in; sight, 10 in x 14 in


Oil paint on glass

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of H. Rodney Sharp

Accession Number



Ex coll. H. Rodney Sharp


This picture, composed by painting on the back side of a sheet of glass, requires the artist to reverse the usual layering of pigments, since the first colors and brush-strokes applied to the glass cannot be altered by later applications.  Association of this composition with Chinese work stems from facial details and some aspects to dress.  The picture shows a schoolmaster seated in a turned chair at the left.  He holds a young boy by the boy's left ear, and is poised to whip him with the switch in his left hand.  Seven other young boys stand to the sitter’s left, most of whom hold books.

The late 18th century English frame has a new backboard.  Its originality to this glass picture cannot be ascertained, although it is a suitable frame.