Portrait of a Chinese merchant

This half-length portrait of an unidentified Chinese merchant dressed in official robes is attributed to the painter Lamqua (1802–ca.1860) or his studio in Canton (modern-day Guangzhou), China. The realistic portrayal of the Chinese merchant is the result of the artist’s deft application of the Western painting technique of chiaroscuro---the use of light and shading to create a sense of three-dimensionality. Lamqua was famous in mid-19th century Guangzhou for his outstanding painting skills, in particular, for executing European-style works with a realistic figurative composition. Lamqua owned a popular workshop that produced portraits, harbour views and paintings of other subjects that appealed to foreign customers. Several of Lamqua’s paintings were even exhibited in the West, including at the Royal Academy in London in the 1830s and 1840s.

19th century
Object Size: 42.0 x 31.9 cm
Accession No.
Collection of
Asian Civilisations Museum

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