Oberammergau Reverse Glass Painting
The history of reverse glass painting in Oberammergau started with Andreas Lang (1738–1807) who returned to his native village around 1760 after completing his apprenticeship as a painter in Augsburg. By 1768, nine reverse glass painters had already been mentioned in documents. These artists created exacting pictures, either as individual works or in series, that were by no means exclusively depicted religious subjects.
Joseph Anton Lang (1780–1871) and Joseph Mangold (1787–1850) became the best-known artists of the next generation. Mangold and his workshop were the most successful and artistically skilled of all reverse glass painters from Oberammergau. His portraits also testify to this.
Following the economic slump caused by secularisation and wars, reverse glass painters adopted a new approach from around 1810 onwards. In addition to individual pictures of high quality, standardised, very colourful pictures of saints and biblical scenes in medallion form, decorated with ornamental floral designs, were produced in large numbers and in a variety of different sizes. These found a ready market and, in the first half of the 19th century, hundreds of thousands of such works were sold.