Charles Prendergast (1863-1948)
Animal Decoration on Glass, with Mirror, ca. 1928-1932
Reverse painting in tempera with silver and gold leaf on
glass, with mirror, in gessoed, carved and gilded wooden frame
Williams College Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Charles Prendergast, 95.4.29
Charles decorated the large upper section of a mirror using the technique of reverse painting on glass. Although a time-honored method, reverse painting is a cumbersome and challenging technique, in which elements of a picture that would normally be painted last must be painted first. What results are colorful images characterized by tremendous luminosity when viewed from the front.