Verderber world-wide (in Gothic type letters).

Verderber world-wide

A virtual Family Meeting in the Net

Horizontal rule.

Start, Biographies

Michael Verderber (1766–21/12/1843), Johann Verderber (27/4/1793–1871) and the painting behind glass at Außergefild (Bohemia)

German flag. Deutsche FassungFrench flag. Version française

Michael Verderber was a pedlar from the Gottschee region, born 1766, who settled down in the village Außergefild (Kvilda) near Winterberg (Vimperk) in the district Prachatitz (Prachatice) in Bohemia (see the corresponding Annotation in the article about Thomas Verderber in Retz). There is no further knowledge about his origin. He married Dorothea Schuster at Außergefild on 5/11/1792, and little later, on 27/4/1793, they got a son named Johann (see, written in Czech language – please send us a German or English version of this text if you have one!).

Picture, painted behind glass: Holy Ann, teaching reading to her daughter. Picture, painted behind glass: Holy Ann, teaching reading to her daughter.

Michael Verderber learnt painting behind glass and sold glass pictures with religious motifs (see or the translation more below). His son Johann Verderber took over the workshop and continued production and trade in great style.

The workshop was equipped very professionaly. In the entrance room the raw plates were unpacked and the ready pictures were packed. Then the frame makers came and then the particular artists which were specialised for certain parts of a picture and so created the picture one after the other. (Described in the book “Hantierer im Böhmerwalde” (Hand workers in the Bohemian Forest) of Johann Messner, published in 1856.) But surely there were no super-specialists for nose holes, eyes or haloes. (See book citation and criticism at

Johann Verderber died in 1871, the exact date is unknown here. His son Franz Verderber, born in 1837, death date unknown, continued managing the business. In the year 1881 a fire destroyed the manufacture, and the picture production finished.

The picture on the left is an example from this workshop (see

From the history of Außergefild

Here a translation (based on a German translation) in extracts of the village history of Kvilda (Außergefild), today situated in the Czech national park Bohemian Forest (see the Czech original text at Thanks to Mistress Dostal for the German translation.

The village

We are now in the oldest part of Kvilda, which developed from gold searching in the river of the lake. You can still see rests of it at the river banks.

Painting behind glass

A typical for Kvilda and its surrounding is the painting behind glass, which Michael Verderber learnt during the 19th century. His son Johann continued this tradition and worked on painting behind glass in great style. After his father’s death he bought the house number 14 from Johann Zoglauer. There he also established a restaurant. Today there is the IS Kvilda at this house’s place. In the time of the greatest flowering of his firm thirty to forty thousand pictures per year were produced. But in 1881 a fire destroyed all the possessions of the family Verderber. Johann’s son, František Verderber, did not surrender and built a new house. But there was no more painting behind glass; the competitors of the new technics were stronger. In 1886 the house was sold by auction to Gabriel Schuster.

Supplements to the painting behind glass

The painting method:

  1. The contours are painted from the back side (red, brown).
  2. The shadows of the face are modelled.
  3. Outlines of greater areas, then the background.

Mostly paint-brushes of ram hairs and egg colours are used.

The selling of the glass pictures was well organised. A part of the pictures was exported in crates. Moreover the selling was guaranteed by salesmen going from house to house. They also were called pedlars. Above all, the catholic part of the people liked the pictures very much. The pictures were fixed under the ceiling in the edge of the living room, in an angle to the room. The main motifs of the pictures were saints and patron saints.


Horizontal rule.

To the top of the page. Back to top of this page

Normal page.

Overview page. Back to the table of contents

Start page.Back to the start page