Made for Export: Chinese Nineteenth-Century Flower Drawings
Included in the magnificent bequest of flower paintings and drawings made to The Fitzwilliam Museum in 1973 by The Hon Major Henry Rogers Broughton, 2nd Lord Fairhaven, was a small but interesting group of Chinese flower drawings. These are mostly botanical, but some are clearly decorative. They appear to have been made for the export market probably in Guangzhou. Canton was the only port open to foreign trade from 1757-1842. Any pictures produced before the other Treaty Ports were opened up must have come from Canton.
Most of the drawings are on paper and the majority appear to have been made in the first half of the nineteenth century. Several appear to have been copied from European prototypes. One drawing is on silk.
Also on display will be four albums with paintings on pith paper, made from the tree Tetrapanax Papyrifera, which are from a group of twelve presented to the Museum in 1909 by the Rev. Hilton Bothamley. Although made in Canton by the artist, You Qua, these appear to have been acquired in India. One of these albums deals with the growing of tea and its trade. Part of an earlier Chinese scroll depicting the cultivating of the mulberry tree for silk worms and the manufacture of silk will also feature.
In partnership with CHINA NOW, the UK’s largest ever festival of Chinese culture
Tue 29 January 2008 to Sun 11 May 2008
Shiba Gallery (Gallery 14)