An oil painting depicting probably the boxers' revolution
Lot 232
Anglo-European School; oil on canvas depicting buildings on fire beside a waterfront landscape 19th century and unsigned
Sold for £1,250 (US$ 2,099) inc. premium
Lot Details
Anglo-European School; oil on canvas depicting buildings on fire beside a waterfront landscape
19th century and unsigned
The subject unknown but depicting a skirmish, apparently involving Chinese forces, using both firearms and edged weapons
69 x 54cm (27 x 21in)

Footnotes

  • There is no easy way to identify this scene, since many examples of political uncertainty characterised the later years of Manchu Imperial rule. What may be significant here, however, is that the European hand and style of painting infers an event that had been seen, or heard of in some detail, by the artist. Thus the scene may depict some action or disorder close to European communities, although no European figures appear to be taking part in the fighting.

    The 19th and early 20th century witnessed three major conflicts between China and Europe. The first, taking place between 5th July 1840 and 29th August 1842 centred on the island of Chusan, Hangchow Bay, the Canton River and Nanking. The second disagreement, taking place between 1857 and 1860, included a number of diplomatic positions taken and actions fought. These included the battle at Taku Forts where breech-loading artillery was first used. The Boxer Movement of 1900 was the third occasion during which action took place between European and Chinese forces.

    The subject matter of this painting may derive from a Eurpean artist portraying an action from one of these events.
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