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View of Victoria Town, Island of Hong Kong

Date: 1847
Dimensions:
Overall: 153 x 233 mm, 0.023 kg
Medium: Lithograph on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Art
Object Name: Lithograph
Object No: 00003062
Place Manufactured:London
Related Place:Hong Kong,

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    Description
    This view depicts Victoria Town, on the island of Hong Kong. This was one the earliest urban developments on the island of Hong Kong after it became a British colony in 1842. The lithograph was taken from an original work by the artist Piqua and shows the town populated with numerous buildings and busy with boats in port.
    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.
    HistoryVictoria Town was often referred to as the 'capital' of Hong Kong. It was one of the first settlements on the Island of Hong Kong after the British took over control in 1842 following The First Opium War. The Island now known as Hong Kong became formally known as Hong Kong after the Treaty of Nanking in 1842. Following the First Opium War between China and Britain, and the occupation of the Island by British Forces in 1841, China ceded possession of the Island to the British. The British established a formal colony a year later.

    The Chinese artist is not known. The perspective is very Western in concept and is unlike many paintings by the Chinese artist's contemporaries, both known and unknown.

    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.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: VIEW OF VICTORIA TOWN, ISLAND OF HONG KONG

    Web title: View of Victoria Town, Island of Hong Kong

    Related People
    Artist: Piqua

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