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Photographs of 19th c China
This may already be on here, somewhere, so I apologise if that is the case. If it isn't, it's an interesting way to pass a few minutes. Hope you will enjoy it, too.
Written by Oscar Holland, CNN Before the arrival of photography, the Western imagination of China was based on paintings, written travelogues and dispatches from a seemingly far-off land. From the 1850s, however, a band of pioneering Western photographers sought to capture the country's landscapes, cities and people, captivating audiences back home and sparking a homegrown photography movement in the process.
Yes, I know what you mean. I also feel a little intrusive because the people photographed would have had no idea that people so far in the future would be peering into their lives or that the world would have changed so much. I worry about inadvertently making judgments on their lives that have not been requested and may not be welcome.
They are beautiful photos; I am glad you all enjoyed them.
Julia, as others have mentioned, very nice pictures. Don’t know if any one noticed a lot of the women had bound feet, at the time these pictures were taken. I thought that was outlawed by this time, or at the least discouraged. The street scene reminded me of every China town in every place I have visited with the cluttered shops and long banner type store signs. The reflected bridge is a nice artsy picture as well as the pavilion scene, you can see that on porcelain as a stock pattern even European produced China.
The home/pavilion on the island was interesting as it reminds me of every bonzi arrangement only full size.
The most poignant picture has to be the picture of what appear to be street people barely staying alive in the rags and tatters. Proof that not all were doing well in Chinese society.
I am not so read up on my 19th Century Chinese history, but I think CNN got their dates a bit muddled... From what I can workout these Summer Palace photos were taken in c.1870+ however they state:
"Thomas Child's pictures of Beijing's Summer Palace, which was subsequently burned down by Anglo-French forces, offer an invaluable record of its lost architecture."
But the Summer Palace was attacked, looted and supposedly destroyed ("burnt to the ground") in 1860 by the Western forces (English and French). If you look at these photos carefully you can see they are already in a state of disrepair, left to decay.
Felice Beato made the earliest known photographs of China's capital city, Beijing. His photographs, taken in 1860 and 1861, are irreplaceable visual records of Chinese history. Scholars consider Beato's sweeping panoramic views to be among the greatest achievements of early photography in China.
The British and French at their worst? The burning of China's magnificent Summer Palace - History is Now Magazine, Podcasts, Blog and Books | Modern International and American history
"We call ourselves civilized and them barbarians," wrote the outraged author, Victor Hugo. "Here is what Civilization has done to Barbarity." One of the deepest, unhealed and entrenched historical wounds of China stems from the destruction of the country's most beautiful palace in 1860 - the burning of the Old Summer Palace by the British and French armies.
I note they say "there were an estimated 1.5 million ancient Chinese relics taken away"
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