Glass - Holland

Glass of Venetian type was made in the Netherlands in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but it was in the decoration of glass that the Dutch excelled. Like the Germans, they ornamented much of their output with cutting on the wheel, but a speciality was engraving with a diamond which was often done so finely that the decoration can be seen only when the light falls across it. There are specimens of diamond-engraving in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, dated 1600 and 1604, and similar work was done throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The names of Frans Greenwood (a Dutchman in spite of his English surname) and David Wolff are the best known of those who did this delicate work. Some of the surviving examples are signed and dated, but many bear no indication of artist or of when they were executed. Some of the late eighteenth-century engravings were on English glasses of the period, which were then being imported into Holland.

At the end of the eighteenth century an artist named Zeuner, of whom remarkably little is known in the way of personal details, executed a number of paintings on glass. These were done in an unusual manner, with gold and silver leaf laid on the back of the glass which was then scratched through and filled with black paint. The skies in outdoor scenes were painted in natural colours, and the effect is striking and decorative. Some of his surviving works are of views in Amsterdam, and a small pane! in the Victoria and Albert Museum shows a view of the Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, in about 1780.



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