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chińskie Kolekcje

Snuff Bottles: Art and History of Inside Painting

Snuff Bottles - A Rare Art From China

Chinese art has had a long history, splendid tradition, distinct characteristics and unique style. It came up to its highest artistic standards through the Ming and into the later part of the Qing dynasty. 

Inside Painted Snuff Bottle - Fishes Inside Painted Snuff Bottle - Wolves Inside Painted Snuff Bottle - Landscape
Examples of Inside Painted Snuff Bottles

Since the latter part of the nineteenth century Chinese inside painted snuff bottles have been regarded by emperors and collectors as the art by "Ghost's axe God's work" which means superlative craftsmanship.

Inside Painted Snuff Bottle - Portrait Princess Diana Inside Painted Snuff Bottle - Wolves Inside Painted Snuff Bottle - Zebra and Deers
Examples of Inside Painted Snuff Bottles

A snuff bottle is a small container with tiny mouth and flat belly so that it is easy for people to carry and use. This miniature handicraft was a microcosm of the painting and carrying techniques, which prevailed in the Qing dynasty. However, painting inside snuff bottle is different than glass painting. When painting a snuff bottle, a painter usually uses an angled bamboo pen with color, inserts it into the small opening in the neck of the bottle and painting in the narrow space inside of it. Therefore, it is more difficult to paint inside a bottle than a piece of glass which needs a special skill and not every painter can be competent at such a tremendous work.

This picture shows how the artists paint a portrait inside a narrow space of a snuff bottle.

Inside Painted Snuff Bottles

Of all the snuff bottles in the late Qing dynasty, the most important achievement was the development of inside painted snuff bottles, especially the portrait snuff bottle. Emperors, nobles and persons with prestigious social status desired to have their own portraits made to order. Presently, some fine ones resided in the Beijing Palace Museum.

There are only about 100 out of a billion artists who can presently do the truly fine masterpieces of inside painting.

Inside painted snuff bottles are truly miniature masterpieces which attract artists and collectors all over the world. They are the real unique treasures in the world of art.

A Thrilling Product Tour to the world of Inside Painted Snuff Bottles




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