Bolihua: Chinese Reverse Glass Painting from the Mei Lin Collection
Christian Juranek and Christof Trepesch
In this publication the sinologist Rupprecht Mayer presents 143 Chinese reverse glass paintings from a private collection in southern Germany. Traditional motifs of happiness, scenes from plays and novels, landscapes, Chi na’s entrance into modernity, and the changing image of the Chinese woman define the central motifs.
Production of reverse glass paintings began in Canton in the 18th century, of which only those that found their way to the West are known today. After th e end of exports in the middle of the 19th century this decorative art continued to enjoy popularity in China, but only very few of the many fragile paintings in Chinese households have survived the turmoil of wars and disruptions of the 19th and 20th cent uries. Reverse glass painting fell into oblivion in China, with no collections in museums and very few private collectors. This first study in the West presents the beauty of this traditional art in all of its facets.