The art of glass painting appeared in India in the
late 18th and early 19th century. Europe was well acquainted
with the glass painting technique from the Middle Ages. The Chinese
artists learnt the art from Europe and produced the
creation on the 'back of the material' with
the details and shadows first and the large areas of
color later. These productions were mainly for the export
market of Europe.The flourishing trade relations between East India
Company and China brought this art to India. The Chinese
artists patronized by the royalty at Mysore, Satara,
and Kutch also contributed to the body of work.
The glass painting designs and patterns were adopted by the local painters who
depicted popular stories, epic themes, icons, portraits,
and icons on the glass paintings. Regional variations
were also conspicuous in the paintings produced in Tamil
Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Kutch, Gujarat,
Rajasthan, Awadh, New Delhi, Bihar, Bengal, Deccan,
Satara, Hyderabad and Bombay.
The glass was imported in India from Britain and Belgium.
Though India herself had a rich tradition of producing
glass till the 16th century. However, the art became
inferior in course of time.
The artists produced works, which combined both traditional
and European themes. The portraits or copies of European
works as well as the symbolic representation of gods
and goddesses were produced.
Till today, in some parts of India especially in Gujarat
and South India glass paintings are still produced carrying
the both popular and folk art traditions.