The Face Of China As Seen By Photographers & Travelers, 1860-1912
Preface By L. Carrington Goodrich ; Historical Commentary By Nigel Cameron
Blackwell North Amer The Face of China is devoted to the works of such largely unsung photographers as Felice A. Beato, John Thomson, E. H. Wilson, the White Brothers, and Thomas Childe. Most tended to focus on the rarefied and exotic. Who could resist the staggering architecture: the Great Wall, the magnificent battlements of Peking, or the rococo retreats of the mandarins? Or the mandarins themselves: prosperous gentlemen whose tiny-footed wives wore embroidered silk coveted by the soigne of Paris and London. A few photographers saw more than the elevated society and resplendent architecture, and ventured in search of the less visible China. Felice Beatro traveled with the Anglo-French armies to depict the conquest of Tientsin and the sacking of the Imperial summer Palace. With a documentarian's eye, John Thomson directed his lens at both the imperial family and its subjects. His prints contrast the great distance between ruler and ruled, warning of more upheaval in a country already torn and, equally important, fixing forever subtle attitudes and mores. Using cumbersome equipment, Donald Mennie and the White Brothers photographed the dreamlike and harmonious panoramas so beloved by great Chinese landscape artists.