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Youqua

Very few China Trade paintings are signed by the artist. This painting is significant as it was painted by Youqua. Youqua is regarded as one of the finest painters of Chinese port views, landscapes, watercolours and pith (rice) papers and was active from 1840 to 1870. Youqua originally started in Canton (modern Guangzhou) at number 34 Old Street and later opened a second studio in Hong Kong at number 107 Queen's Road. By the 1850's Youqua was regarded as the best studio at that time and was referred to as the "celebrated Chinese painter, Youqua" (see: Crossman: The China Trade. 1991, page 202 Carl Crossman also refers to Youqua as, "...unquestionably the finest painter of this period on a grand scale" (The Decorative Arts of The China Trade, p. 138).