Mahin Azima
Reverse glass paintings
Paintings | Biography | About | فارسی

What is reverse glass painting?
Reverse glass painting is an art form consisting of 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. The method is challenging because the final layer of the image must be painted first. For example, in painting a face, the pupil of an eye must be painted on the back of the glass before the iris, exactly the opposite of normal painting. If this is neglected the artist will not be able to correct the error.

Video: Reverse Images (in Persian)

Article by Shuka Sahra'i on Jadidonline
(in Persian)

The Iranian tradition?

In Iran, the art form had humble beginnings but gradually became popular in the royal court in the previous centuries. From then on, images of royal women and scenes of feasting or hunting appeared on the back of the glass. However, there were only a limited number of painters engaged in this art form. Some of the better known figures in Iran were:
- Aqa Sadeq, whose work can still be found in the aristocratic homes and guest halls of Fars province.
- Seyyed Qafar Esfehani who painted religious themes.
- Satar Khan Zanjani who worked on the images of the Shi'i saints.
- Mirza Abolqasem, the calligrapher who worked on the behind-the-glass form.
- Mirza Mehdi Shirazi the master painter of Qajar period.
- Haj Baqer who worked on the im
ages of flowers and birds.
- Finally, Abdol Jalil who is famous for his images of the women of Khuzestan province.

Mahin Azima worked through this medium for several decade and tried to revive the tradition in Iran.


Azima's Individual exhibitions
Shams Gallery (Tehran) - 2006
Vali Gallery (Tehran) - 2004
Shams Gallery (Tehran) - 2003
Harvard University (US) - 2002
Glass Painting Museum (Tehran) - 1998
Vali Gallery (Tehran) - 1997
Hafez Hall (Tehran) - 1992
Seyhoun Gallery (Tehran) - 1973
Mahin High School (Tehran) - 1960

Group exhibitions
Exhibition Harvard University
Exhibition in Paris

Glass Painting Museum (Tehran) – 2005
Saba Cultural Center, organized by Cultural Heritage Organization (Tehran) - 2004
Abkar Museum at Saad-abad Palace, Pioneer women painters (Tehran) - 2003
Azadi Museum, organized by Cultural Heritage Organization (Tehran) - 2002
Aasar Gallery, marking Women's Day (Tehran) - 2001
Glass Painting Museum (Tehran) - 1999
Niavaran Cultural Center, in support of the Muslim people of Bosnia-Herzegovina (Tehran) - 1992
International Exhibition Hall, Specialized painting (Tehran) - 1991
Women artists' international exhibition (Tehran) - 1975
Iranian contemporary painters (Turkey) - 1974
Iranian painters (Yugoslavia) - 1973
Palace des Beaux-Arts, Iranian painters and sculptors (Belgium) - 1973
Salon d'Automne de Paris, Iranian painters and sculptors (France) - 1973
Contemporary Iranian art (Tehran) - 1971
Iran Bastan Museum, Twenty-five years of Iranian art (Tehran) - 1970
Second Tehran biennial (Tehran) - 1960

Museums and collections

Indira Gandi, private collection (India) 1 piece
Iranology Institution (Tehran), 20 pieces
Tehran Museum of Modern Art, 2 pieces
Iranian Ministry of Culture and Guidanec, 1 piece
Tehran Reverse Glass Painting Museum, 2 pieces
Amir Kabir Institute, 1 piece
Plus works at private collections around the world

Gandhi Gandhi
Letter from Indian Prime Minister Mrs Indire Gandhi