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General view of the Bund (painting) - 1854

Title : General view of the Bund (painting) - 1854

Topic : Virtual Shanghai

Location : Shanghai: International Settlement

Date (start) : 1854

Estimated dates : 1854

Nature : Painting

Support image : Slide

Information data : A second painting, dated to 1854, adopts a nearly identical viewpoint and style to that of its 1850 predecessor. As a landscape piece viewed from the eastern side of the river, the Bund is depicted as a long row of buildings fronted by a relatively wide foreshore that terminates in a series of seven piers, braced with timbers and each surrounded by half a dozen Chinese-rigged vessels. In contrast to the recreational and almost bucolic setting of the previous painting, this 1854 work leaves no doubt in the viewer's mind that this landscape exists in the service of transport and trade. Bare of vegetation, whether by artistic license or accurate representation is unclear, the buildings on the Bund are easily accessible to the observer. On the right hand side of the painting, the British consulate serves as the traditional northern anchor for depictions of the Bund. Progressing southward the new Jardine Matheson building, constructed in 1851, is an impressive two 'storey structure that reflects the status of the Matheson company as one of the region's premier mercantile concerns. Largely, however, the buildings between the new Matheson structure and the Customs House do not differ significantly from their earlier depictions. The Oriental Bank, however, is shown in this piece as having a flat-façade instead of the front-porches shown in the 1850 painting. For the first time, however, we are treated to a view of the Bund south of the Turner and Co. buildings. The Smith Kennedy hong, along with Turner and the Custom's House, completes the block bordered by Custom House Road and Mission Road. The extensive compound with the American flag to the south of Kennedy's belonged to Russell & Co.. Their two-storey building on the southwest corner of Mission Road and the Bund is easily seen along with what looks like three separate warehouse structures. To access the full text, click on the link below.




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