Reverse glass painting is a fascinating yet comparatively unknown facet of Indian art that flourished in the mid-19th century. Created by Chinese and Indian artists, these ‘exotic’ paintings in luminous colours were much favoured by royal patrons and also by prosperous landowners and city merchants in colonial India. The themes ranged from portraits of rulers, their families, nobles, dancers and courtesans, to landscapes and a wide variety of religious subjects drawn from the Puranas and the Epics. Many of the portraits depict western style settings and offer a charming insight into the tastes and lifestyle of the western-educated urban elite in mid-19th and early 20th century India. Over a 100 colour images highlight the rare gems of reverse glass painting from numerous private collections in India.