Reverse Glass Paintings Donated to Goodwin Library

George and Martha Washington
Reverse Glass Paintings by W M Prior 1853

On November 18th, the Farmington Community was invited to a reception celebrating the recent donation of a pair of paintings of George and Martha Washington that were generously donated  to the Goodwin Library by the Thayer Family.  They were painted by William Matthew Prior in 1853 using the reverse glass technique. Reverse glass painting is an old art form which is dome by applying paint to a piece of glass and then viewing the image by turning the glass over and looking through the glass at the image. Verre Églomisé is a commonly used term to refer to the art of cold painting and gilding on the back of glass. In German it is also known as 'hinterglasmalerei.'  The paintings are permanently on display at the Goodwin Library in the stairwell between the main floor and the children's room.

The Friday reception was held from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm at the Goodwin Library and light refreshments were served.

William Matthew Prior was a painter, born in Bath, Maine and later worked out of Portland and Boston, who primarily painted portraits of locals and family members.  

He was exceptional because he had the ability to paint in two styles, one a flat, quick manner with broad brush strokes and with little shade or shadow, which he used for more folk art style paintings, and the other in a more academic tradition with modeling and varied tonation, which produced a more formal product.

William Matthew Prior
Self Portrait, 1825

Two Andrews Children
a more flat, folk art style painting

Hiram Hall of Portland
a more traditional style painting


Reverse Glass Painting on Wikipedia

The Celebrated William Matthew Prior (1806-1873) from Antiques & Fine Art Magazine

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