Was this really painted by Tiffany? As in the glass artist?
Yes! This was indeed painted by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the son of Charles Tiffany, the founder of Tiffany & Co. As a young man, Louis traveled the world to study art and absorb the culture of other countries. Tiffany based this work on photographs he made in 1871, just two years after the completion of the Suez Canal had stimulated new interest in Egypt and the Middle East.
But this Louis designed the famous lamps, right?
Yes, Louis later became a renowned designer and ran a large interior decorating firm. He and his staff designed those famous stained glass lamps and other glass art later in his career. If you would like to see examples of these, we have some in our Decorative Arts collection on the 4th floor (especially in the Luce Visible Storage space).
Is this painter related to the Tiffany known for lampshades?
Yes, he is. This artist, Louis Comfort Tiffany, founded an interior design studio in New York in the 1880s. His company created everything from furniture to textiles to ceramics, but they became best-known for their innovative and artistic stained glass. Also interesting: L. C. Tiffany was the son of Charles Louis Tiffany, who founded Tiffany & Co. earlier in the 1800s.
Where does the name "Comfort" come from? My theory is that it is a reference to the religious revivalism of the Antebellum period.
It's a family name that stretches back to the middle 18th century in the Tiffany family. As to its origins and possible meanings or religious associations, I can only guess. The first Comfort in the family was Comfort Tiffany who was born in October of 1758.
Is this the glass artist?
Yes! Louis Comfort Tiffany was an accomplished and well respected painter before he turned towards glass. He traveled extensively, and painted scenes from his travels.
Though he started as a painter, he became interested in glassmaking from about 1875 and worked at several glasshouses in Brooklyn between then and 1878. In 1879, he joined with Candace Wheeler, Samuel Colman and Lockwood de Forest to form Louis Comfort Tiffany and Associated American Artists.