Tui or Parson Bird Prosthemadera Novae Zealandiae. From: 'A history of the birds of New Zealand' by Walter Lawry Buller
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China: in a Series of Views, Displaying the Scenery, Architecture and Social Habits of that Ancient Empire

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Creator

Date

1843

Identifier

Special Collections DS709 AE16

Type

Publisher

London: Fisher Son & Co.

Abstract

Artists can provide insights into distant worlds; they can also misrepresent or compromise viewers’ understandings of those worlds. London-born Thomas Allom (1804-1872) was an architect, artist, and an illustrator of travel books. Allom’s travels in Europe and Turkey informed his artistic compositions even his drawings of SE China, a place that he never visited. He based his own works on drawings by others, whose hands conditioned his own knowledge of that world. His Turneresque vistas of dramatic mountains and misty atmospherics might be views of the Swiss Alps or the Neapolitan coast. Though his figures may wear Chinese style clothing, and his architecture have touches of local latticework, his genre groups are those of 17th century Holland, and his well-lit interiors as spacious as those of a French chateau. Allom’s images of China mis-informed his contemporaries of the realities of the Chinese world. The Chinese Empire was popular – indeed, it remains in print today.
(Chosen by Dr David Bell, Dunedin College of Education, Otago)

Citation

Thomas Allom, “China: in a Series of Views, Displaying the Scenery, Architecture and Social Habits of that Ancient Empire,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed December 17, 2018, http://ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/9957.

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