George Chinnery RHA (Tipperary 1774-1852 Macau) A view of Macau looking towards the gardens of the Casa, with figures in the foreground,

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Lot 93
George Chinnery RHA
(Tipperary 1774-1852 Macau)
A view of Macau looking towards the gardens of the Casa, with figures in the foreground,

Sold for £ 93,812 (US$ 114,747) inc. premium
George Chinnery RHA (Tipperary 1774-1852 Macau)
A view of Macau looking towards the gardens of the Casa, with figures in the foreground,
oil on canvas, unlined
31 x 46.4cm (12 3/16 x 18 1/4in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Collection of the Viscounts Strathallan, Strathallan Castle, Auchterarder, Scotland before 1910
    Collection of Sir James Roberts, and thence by descent

    The present view appears to be taken from a high point above the inner harbour at Macau looking towards the gardens of the Casa (see footnote to the following lot). The pitched roof of the Grotto of Camoes is visible among the trees of the Casa gardens in the middle distance.

    Chinnery had travelled from London to Madras in 1802 leaving behind his wife and two young children. He established himself as a society portraitist spending periods in Calcutta, Dacca and Serampore before moving to Macau in 1825. Although much of his output in oils consists of portraits it is clear from the many sketches he made that landscape, often incorporating local tradespeople, was one of his primary interests. However landscape paintings on the scale of the present work are rare, and this important panoramic view gives us a new perspective on the layout of Macau in the second quarter of the 19th century.

    The peninsula of Macau lies 40 miles west of Hong Kong and south of Canton on the estuary of the Pearl River. In 1556 the Portuguese established a trading base there giving them direct access into China and Japan. As trade flourished Macau grew, with the noticeable introduction of European architecture, baroque churches and convents, many of which still stand today. By the second quarter of the 17th century the Dutch and British were also staking a claim to trade in the east and by the end of the 18th century the British East India Company was effectively the most significant trading entity on the peninsula. Western merchants trading with Canton 80 miles away made Macau their residential base; they were permitted to live in Canton only during the annual winter trading season, while their families were not allowed there at all, so most of them stationed themselves at Macau. Macau's trading dominance began to wane in the middle of the 19th century when Hong Kong became a British colony in 1841 and with its large natural harbour, took over as the main trading hub in the South China seas.
Contacts
George Chinnery RHA (Tipperary 1774-1852 Macau) A view of Macau looking towards the gardens of the Casa, with figures in the foreground,
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