A three-quarter-length portrait of a merchant captain facing slightly to the right and looking towards the viewer. He wears a naval jacket and gold braid, blue trousers, white shirt and a loose black cravat, and he holds a telescope. He is portrayed on the deck of a ship with mast shrouds behind him to the left. The landscape and shipping behind denotes China and, more specifically perhaps, Canton. The artist spent the last 50 years of his life in India and China, where he arrived in 1825. Although no available documentary evidence confirms it, this portrait has been attributed to Chinnery. He worked with a Chinese copyist called Lamqua who produced copies of his portraits for sitters to send home to their families in Europe. There were also other European artists working and making portraits in China at the same period.
Where to see this painting?
National Maritime Museum
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