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Port of Whampoa, one of five opened by the late treaty to British Commerce

Date: 1847
Overall: 153 x 233 mm, 0.023 kg
Medium: Lithograph on paper.
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Object Name: Lithograph
Object No: 00003061
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    The Port of Whampoa, near Canton China is depicted in this black and white lithograph. It features three large masted schooners all with their sails furled. Whampoa was one of five ports that were opened for foreign trade after the the First Opium War and the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842.
    SignificanceBefore photography, paintings and drawings of Macao, Canton and Hong Kong were the only illustrations of these exotic ports. These works depict unusual landscapes, walled cities and spectacular architecture, which helped to establish the Western vision of China as a land of silk, porcelain and tea.
    HistoryWhampoa, or Huangpu district, is an industrial waterfront district in the Guangdong province of China. It became an international trading port following the signing of the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842. The Treaty of Nanjing, which ended hostilities, opened Whampoa as one of five Chinese treaty ports at the end of the War. Previously, British merchants had only been allowed to trade at Guangzhou (Canton), however this Treaty allowed them access to trade at 5 new ports.

    Lithography, a printing process, began in Germany in the 1790s and then spread to Europe and America. Initially printers used black and white ink, however this changed to coloured ink as the process become more widely used. A nearly insatiable Western market for views of the Pearl River such as this lithograph was fuelled by the entrepreneurs who conducted business there, as well as their business partners and families, many of whom had never travelled to China but heard marvellous tales about the land and its culture.
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    Web title: Port of Whampoa, one of five opened by the late treaty to British Commerce

    Related People
    Artist: After Piqua

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