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Attack and capture of Chuenpee, near Canton

Date: 1843
Dimensions:
Overall: 215 x 275 mm
Medium: Print on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Art
Object Name: Engraving
Object No: 00003064
Place Manufactured:London

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    Description
    This engraving shows the attack and capture of Chuenpee in 1841 near Canton as part of the First Opium War. A group of British soldiers can be seen marching towards the town as cannons are set. It was taken from an original sketch made by Lieutenant White of the Royal Marines.
    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.
    HistoryChuenpee, near Canton, was the scene of two engagements during The First Opium War between the British and China in the 19th Century. Canton was the major trading port of the Chinese during this time, and as such the Chinese authorities issued an edict stating that foreign ships who wished to trade in the port must sign an agreement not to trade Opium. The First Battle of Chuenpee took place in 1839 when the British fired on Chinese ships as a result of tension over the Opium edict. The Second Battle of Chuenpee was fought in 1841 by British and Indian troops against Chinese forces after the failure of negotiations over territory. As the British and Indian troops had a greater artillery, Chuenpee was captured during a ceasefire. Shortly afterwards the Chinese agreed to secede Hong Kong and pay a 6 million dollar indemnity to the British.

    Prior to the use of photography, engraving was used as a method of capturing a picture or painting. It was used not only in printmaking, but also to create reproductions of original sketches or paintings.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Attack and capture of Chuenpee, near Canton

    Primary title: Attack and Capture of Chuenpee, near Canton

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