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Date: c 1852
Overall: 645 × 850 mm, 1.05 kg
Medium: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00006129
Place Manufactured:Zhonghua

User Terms

    The clipper ship was the backbone of maritime trade in the mid 19th century. This painting shows the fully rigged ship METEOR, sailing in calm waters and flying an American flag from its mizen mast. This painting is one of a large number of ship portraits produced by Chinese trade artists in the style of western art.
    SignificanceThis painting is representative of the extensive trade between America and China in the 19th century and the production of Chinese trade ship portraits.
    HistoryThe era of the clipper ships was dominated by a sense of romance, competition, national pride and innovative technology. The sleek and graceful ships were a symbol of modernity in America and a fundamental part of the expanding global economy. Their design concentrated on speed instead of cargo capacity and was a great benefit to shipping companies eager to transport goods quickly.

    China trade artists painted a large number of ship portraits depicting Western vessels. They were typically formulaic in style and depicted a greenish-grey sea against a monotone sky. These works were commissioned by western ship owners or captains and were very rarely signed by their Chinese artists.

    The METEOR was built in 1852 by E & H O Briggs at South Boston and involved in trade between America, China and Australia. During its construction the ship was bought by Curtis & Peabody and undertook numerous passages under the Captain Samuel W Pike. In 1862 it was sold to British interests in the Far East (India).
    Additional Titles

    Web title: METEOR

    Primary title: METEOR

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