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General view of the Bund (painting) - 1857

Title : General view of the Bund (painting) - 1857

Topic : Virtual Shanghai

Location : Shanghai: International Settlement

Date (start) : 1857

Estimated dates : 1857

Nature : Painting

Support image : Paper

Information data : This view of the Bund from 1857 continues the typology developed in earlier painting. The scope of the painting covers the whole Bund from the British Consulate to the edge of the French Concession on the settlement's southern boundary. This is the first painting that includes the entire area of what will become known as "the Bund" proper. Perhaps earlier painters did not think the collection of buildings south of the Russell & Co. compound worthy of representation or preferred to focus their efforts on the central and northern Bund. The new Augustine, Heard & Co. building, a three-storey structure with a pitched roof, on the northern end of the Bund is the only new addition to the skyline north of the Customs House. Some differences, however, include the Customs House is depiction without the ornate front gate that it is shown with the in the 1854 representation. Furthermore the Turner and Co. building, two lots to the south of the Customs House, appears slightly larger, although this may very well be the exercise of artistic license. The major addition to the Russell & Co. lot of a second large structure (on the corner facing Tuner and Co.) fills out the firm's frontage along the Bund. The very northern edge of the French Concession is just visible on the painting's left side. On the Bund itself numerous pedestrians populate the entire length, but the various wharves (more like ramps going to water level) are devoid of cargo. A large number of ships are also present in the foreground with the interesting appearance of a steam paddle-boat flying a British merchant ensign and a Royal navy frigate prominently holding the center of the painting. These two boats are accompanied by a host of smaller vessels with both Chinese and European hulls and rigging represented. To access the full text, click on the link below.




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