Arts and Culture
Reverse glass paintings from China were popular imports among Thai elites in the early Bangkok period. Contemporary descriptions suggest that a significant number of these paintings featured European imagery, especially portraits and genre scenes. The majority of Chinese glass paintings preserved in modern Thailand are those that were put on display in royally-sponsored monasteries, and there are a few surviving European compositions among this number. Moreover, even the glass paintings of Chinese narrative scenes often adopt techniques of European painting, particularly for the rendering of landscape elements. What impact did the presence of these glass paintings have upon the development of Thai mural painting, a popular way to adorn temple interiors? As Thai artists began to experiment with Western-style painting techniques in the mid-nineteenth century, what inspiration might they have drawn from the ways that European imagery, compositions, and stylistic techniques had been translated through the medium of Chinese paintings on glass?