Reverse glass devotional paintings became a collector’s item at the beginning of the twentieth century. The German Expressionists who formed The Blue Rider group were fascinated by their unusual style and paradoxical method of production. They were the first to reveal the beauty of this art form.
Vasily Kandinsky (1866–1944), one of the founders of The Blue Rider, amassed an important collection of glass paintings during his stay in Murnau, a traditional centre for such devotional objects. However, in Russia it is rare to find anyone with an interest in western European glass painting.
Vladimir Spivakov’s collection is truly unique: there is no other Russian collection which is comparable. The heart of the collection is Alsatian and Bavarian glass paintings, ranging from modest images of saints to complex figurative compositions depicting Biblical themes.