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Frances Federer eglomise – ancient art becomes modern artifact

The art of Frances Federer  is rare and ancient. Reverse painting or Eglomisé,  painting and gilding on the back of a glass surface, dates back to the days of Rome. She lectures and writes on the subject and, using her considerable knowledge and undoubted artistry, produces works of art ranging from small drinking vessels to glass panels. You can see her work on her own web site or in galleries such as London’s V&A and the Corning Museum in New York State.

The vase shown above seems to almost generate its own light. It is intricate, delicate and brilliant. When you read France’s blog you marvel at the depth of her knowledge and wonder if she actually appreciates just how astoundingly talented she is.

Detail of Globeby Frances Federer

This is detail from a glass globe, painted on the inside and gilded. The combination of an ancient art and modern sensibilities creates a mezmerising object.

Gold vase by Frances Federer

A Gold Vase, along with the other pieces we are showing you, was produced as part of Frances’ research into ‘Glass, gold and the image’ which led to her being made a a Master of Philosophy by The Royal College of Art, London.

Drinking Vessel by Frances Federer

Drinking Vessel by Frances Federer

These are two drinking vessels, ok, glasses, based on 16th century Humpen. Frances’s blog explains that they were ceremonial glasses made in Central Europe. You had to drink down to the first trail in one gulp and if you failed, you had to drink to the next. She took the idea of the divisions to make the breaks necessary in the glass in order to get inside and do the gilding and painting.

Thick red glass by Frances Federer

And we include this glass simply because we love it. If you share our enthusiasm please do check out Frances Federer’s web site and blog. We salute her knowledge and mastery.

For the art of eglomisé done exceptionally well in tile form check out the Simes Studio collection, right here on Modenus.

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    Ancient art preservation has undergone significant advancements over the years with the help of modern technology. Today’s art conservators usually have a background not only in art but in sciences such as physics, chemistry and geology.

  • Katie Katz

    Gorgeous art glass and very unique! Thank you for this gorgeous find!


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