A PAIR OF CHINESE EXPORT OIL-PAINTINGS DEPICTING MACAO AND BOCA TIGRIS

Early 19th-century

The two paintings in oil on canvas in original frames with the titles.

Each H. 51.4 x W. 68.3 cm

Note:

The Portuguese settlement Macao in China is seen from Barra Hill at the foot of the peninsula, looking north-east towards the Chinese mainland. The “barrier gate” to the mainland is visible in the distance, with the large church of S. Paulo to its right and Fort Monte further to the right. To the right again is the shallow “Praya Grande”, where many of the western merchants rented houses. On the left is the Inner Harbour in which seagoing Portuguese ships and a large junk may be seen.

Boca Tigris, “tiger’s mouth” where several forts were built, is the point at which the Pearl River broadens into an estuary. All the Western ships approaching and leaving Canton were obliged to sail between these forts. Here a seagoing junk and two East Indiamen are seen, flying the Dutch flag, suggesting that these two paintings were ordered by a Dutch client.

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