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Images of the Canton Factories 1760-1822: Reading History in Art

Images of the Canton Factories 1760-1822: Reading History in Art (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Hundreds of Chinese export paintings of Canton trading houses and shopping streets are in museums and private collections throughout the world, and scholars of art and history have often questioned the reliability of these historical paintings. In this illustrated volume, Paul Van Dyke and Maria Mok examine these Chinese export paintings by matching the changes in the images with new historical data collected from various archives. Many factory paintings are reliable historical records in their own right and can be dated to a single year. Dating images with such precision was not possible in the past owing to insufficient information on the scenes. The new findings in this volume provide unprecedented opportunities to re-date many art works and prove that images of the Canton factories painted on canvas by Chinese artists are far more trustworthy than what scholars have believed in the past.

Paul A. Van Dyke is professor of history at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou and author of The Canton Trade: Life and Enterprise on the China Coast, 1700-1845 (Hong Kong University Press, 2005). Maria Kar-wing Mok is a curator at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. She was responsible for the research, exhibitions and publication of the museum's Historical Pictures Collection.

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