A view of Macau, Praia Grande

This is a fine painting of Macau’s harbour by an unknown Chinese artist working in the early 19th century. The view is said to be taken from Outer Harbour, known as the Praia Grande, to the east of the Macau peninsula. It was the site of the governor’s house, administrative offices, and commercial establishments. The artist has included the characteristic curving shoreline of the Praia Grande and several Portuguese built fortifications. On the right is the plateau of Forte Monte and below it on the point of the bay in the right foreground is the fort of São Francisco. Convents and churches are also depicted. There was a great demand for views of the places the Europeans and the Americans visited. From mid-18th to 19th century, many Chinese artists executed port scenes, landscapes, and portraits based on European and American prints. A large number of these paintings existed, but few are properly documented as to artist and date, which even fewer give any clue as to what may have been their stylistic influence or how the painter might have learned to paint in a Western manner.

early 19th century
Gross Measurement: 55.7 x 69.8 x 6 cm
Accession No.
Oil on canvas
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum
Historical Painting