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Glass coloured print

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (maker)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Teddy Dawe

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case 93, shelf 10

This is a glass print, sometimes called a glass picture. Its maker had to soak a black and white print in water, stick it face down onto the back of a sheet of glass, rub most of the paper away from the back leaving a thin transparent layer of paper and the ink making the image. The next stage was to colour the image from the back in oil colours. This was then fitted into a frame and the buyer could then hang it up on his or her wall straight away. Because the print is stuck to the back of the glass, if the glass gets cracked or broken, it cannot be replaced.

English writers of artists' manuals describe how to make glass prints from the 1680s onwards. The period of their greatest popularity was from about 1760 to 1790. Much of the appeal of glass prints to shoppers was their relative cheapness compared to framed oil of watercolour paintings, which were entirely painted by hand. Glass prints were clearly made on a commercial basis, because certain prints on paper are regularly found turned into glass prints.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


Unknown (maker)

Object history note

RP No. 96/1175

Descriptive line

Framed glass picture - Two Horses


Glass; Printing ink; Pigments




Prints; Frames


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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