Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

Reverse glass painting in Sandl

Applicant: Norbert Pölz, Johann Pum, Elisabeth Traxl, Elsa Stelzmüller
Province: Upper Austria
Domain: Traditional Craftsmanship

With the migration of Northern Bohemian glassmakers, the craft of reverse glass painting arrived in the district Mühlviertel ar ound 1760. It is a r egion that is along with the Southern part of Bohemia and the Waldviertel district in neighbouring Lower Austria, still renowned for its fine glass pr oducts. Reverse glass paintings wer e handcrafted at glass kilns and homes around Sandl in order to be sold at fairs and shrines, transported in back-baskets by carriers across the countries of the Habsburg Monarchy. The paintings typically use few but bright colours and carry the decorative Sandl Rose in the corners. With cheap art prints spreading and small-scale glassworks closing down, the art of reverse glass painting was almost forgotten after 1940. Yet today, one full-time and a number of part-time painters can be found upholding the tradition in Sandl.