Tinsel paintings are paintings on glass, with transparent and opalescent areas backed by metal foils. The light reflecting back from these foils, gives a richness to the colours and depth to the image which contrasts with the opaque areas. In the 18th century gold and silver leaf were used to back paintings on glass, often inset above a mirror. The popularity of these tinsel painting grew in the 19th century when cheaper metal foils became available, and the technique migrated from decoration to painting. Many simple works were produced by amateurs in domestic situations. Other more sophisticated examples were painted by professional artists, notably Dora Carrington. In her current work, Rosalind Elliott references the traditions of folk art and fairytales, and Vanitases of the Dutch 17th century still lives.