Kanton factory copy.jpg


A view of the British and Dutch factories at Canton, 1835-1849

Oil on canvas (relined) in original Chinese frame, 28 x 45 cm


In May 1841 the British and Dutch factories were destroyed by fire and rebuilt in a different style. Thus this painting can be dated to 1835-1840, prior to the fire. The tall second storey to the building immediately to the right of the British portico was added in the late 1830s. Above the portico is a viewing platform which the Chinese authorities were to remove during the “opium crisis” of 1839. The present painting is a fairly close imitation of a Chinnery original of the same scene. George Chinnery arrived in China in 1825 and his “romantic” style was quickly adopted by the Cantonese artist Lamqua who developed a successful “export” practice specialising in oil portraiture in the manner of Chinnery. One of the things Lamqua added to the original Chinnery painting was the “flower boat” to the right.