Beijing is famous for its interior paintings. With a special paintbrush at a 90-degree angle used to paint inside glass or crystal objects, artists can achieve exquisitely unique paintings. Interior paintings require painstaking efforts, and artists usually hold their breath when painting, exerting strength through the wrist. Interior painting has been praised as a magnificent treasure for collectors.
China's interior paintings originated from artworks inside snuff bottles. During the Jiaqing Period of the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) -- 400 years after introduction of snuff tobacco to the country, the art of interior painting soon followed. After many years of exploration, artworks were expanded to include interior-painted furnishings, perfume bottles, wine utensils, beads, and lighters.
Interior paintings of various shapes and patterns are made of glass, crystal, and agate, through carving and grinding. Using a special paintbrush, artists paint the inside of a bottle through a narrow mouth, incorporating the composition, delineation, wrinkle removal and coloring. Unlike traditional painting techniques where an artist begins with the background and moves outward, the interior-painting artist must paint the foreground first. Such talented artists must study for years to become masters.
Interior painting subjects range from flowers and birds, to clouds and waterfalls, to historical figures and stories, which are shown vividly. The art was dubbed, "the work of ghosts and gods", winning the hearts of royals and nobles of the Qing Dynasty.
With its special artistic charms, interior painting is attracting thousands of people from at home and abroad to become a top collector's choice.