TINGQUA (ACT. 1840-1870) OR STUDIO
A Walled Pavilion and Garden at the Water’s Edge, 1840-1850
Gouache on paper, laid down, 16 x 27 cm
The present painting, by the same hand as the previous one of the Hongs of Canton, may be one of a series of garden views in Canton attributed to Tingqua. A similar view, dated c. 1854, is held at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem (inv. nr. AE85341.4).
The present painting closely relates to an engraving titled the fountain-court in Conseequa’s house in Canton as depicted in a series of engravings by Thomas Allom esq. (1804 - 1872) in China, in a series of views, displaying the scenery, architecture and social habits of that ancient empire drawn from original and authentic sketches by Thomas Allom and with historical and descriptive notices by the Reverend G.N. Wright, published in 1850. Conseequa’s real name was Pan Changyao (?-1823). Sometimes he was also called Kunshuiguan where the westernized name “Conseequa” may come from. He was a well-loved Hong merchant and a relative (probably nephew) of the chief of Hong merchants, Pan KhequaI (Pan Zhencheng 1714 – 1788).
Conseequa was considered too soft, which is the reason attributed to his final failure. After his death in 1823, his house and garden were sold to cover his debts.
Conseequa’s garden would have likely been located in the suburbs of Canton on the northern side of Pearl River. It is one of the most mentioned gardens in Canton during the Canton System period (1757 - 1842).