Chinese School 
Hong Kong Harbor & Victoria Peak
⚈ Sold
Chinese (1775-1900)

Oil on Canvas Circa 1850
17 ⅝ x 30 ⅜ Inches 25 x 38 Inches Framed
 
   

Chinese School 
 
Chinese (1775-1900)
 
Hong Kong Harbor & Victoria Peak
⚈ Sold

Oil on Canvas Circa 1850
17 ⅝ x 30 ⅜ Inches 25 x 38 Inches Framed
 
   

An artistic work of the mid-19th century which shows the international make-up of the China Trade, this painting hold up as a fine example of the artistry of the Chinese. Clouds hold shadow and sunlight over the soon-to-boom city. At this point, the signal tower atop the peak has yet to be installed and there is a strand or two of beachfront acreage still available.

Soon the Europeans’ and Americans’ demand for the spices and silks, primarily tea, yet complemented by the vast number of other exotic crops and arts, would help establish some of the largest Western & Eastern fortunes of their day. Two American ships are prominent: a pacific sidewheel steamer (one of only a few possible for this date) is at anchor between British ships, while an interesting American sailing sloop hold the traditionally important center foreground, proudly flying the star & stripes. Chinese-built hulks for themselves and the British compete for anchorage with a french sailing ship as well.

The vantage the artist has chosen is a bit more northern than most views, affording a view of the range on into the Guangzhou and Guangdong province. It is in this direction that the last European ship is depicted, what appears to be a Dutch ensign on the staff of a sailing barque. The exacting brushwork of the artist and realistic coloration makes exploring the buildings over the Victorian headland an adventure, with towers and residences near the warehouses. A British flag flies from a staff set in foliage, softly stating the most prominent residents of the period, still less than halfway up the elevation.