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Portrait of a Westerner by George Chinnery

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Artist: George Chinnery

Portrait of a Westerner by George Chinnery, painted in oil on canvas and within a 20th century swept gilt frame.


o.s:14.5 in x 17 in

s.s:9 in x 11.25 in  


George Chinnery, born London, Jan. 1774; died Macao, May 1852.


It is accepted that George Chinnery had considerable influence on the development of Chinese portrait painting for the western market. He had studied under Sir Joshua Reynolds and by the age of 24 had exhibited no less than 21 works at the Royal Academy. It is generally accepted that had he stayed in London he would have reached much the same heights as his contemporaries; Sir Thomas Lawrence, George Romney or William Beechey. However, soon after marrying, Chinnery left London for Ireland, from where his wife came, and shortly afterwards moved back to London and then onto India...... without his family. He enjoyed considerable success in both Madras and Calcutta and in 1818 was joined by his family. Five years later and he is bothered by both debt and wife.........and leaves alone for Serampore. By 1825 he is in Canton and Macau, where he lives and works until his death in 1852. In China Chinnery meets again with great success, painting the portraits of prominent players in the export market; Chinese merchants, American traders and supercargos, English and European dealers and their families. It was on arrival at Macou that Chinnery met with Lam Qua. The artist's host established a studio in his garden and Lam Qua was to be his assistant. He may well have been Chinnery's first student although he undoubtably could already paint. In fact it is thought by many scholars of China trade painting that Lam Qua was third generation of a family of painters, preceded by 'Old Lamqua' and before him the most notable Spoilham. Before Chinnnery's arrival Chinese-Western portraiture was essentially neoclassical; Lam Qua learnt Chinnery's contemporary 'English Grand Style' and this was eventually disseminated through rival and contemporary studios working around Hong Kong.



Item Code: 4556

£ 7500

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