Reverse-glass paintings — where an image is painted onto glass to be viewed from the other side — originated as a technique used for religious works in medieval Europe, which then spread to Asia via trade routes. It was introduced to Japan as an import from China during the Edo Period (1603-1868). During the mid- to late 19th century, Japanese artists, drawn to the vibrancy of colors that it produced, created various reverse-glass paintings featuring foreign lands and Japanese motifs.
This exhibition brings together around 130 paintings, including those by well-known 20th-century artists, such as Narashige Koide (1887-1931) and Leonard Tsuguharu Foujita (1886-1968), as well as some of the earliest examples that were brought from overseas to Japan. (Yuki Yamauchi)