Durbar Hall at Osborne, designed by Bhai Ram Singh and Lockwood Kipling in 1890. © Bard Graduate Center, New York, photo by Bruce M. White
Rudyard Kipling’s bookplate ‘Ex Libris', Lockwood Kipling, 1909. © National Trust Images/John Hammond
Drawing of a wood carver, from a collection depicting craftsmen of the North-West Provinces of British India, Lockwood Kipling, 1870. Museum no. 0929:56/(IS). © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Life in Qing Dynasty Shanghai: The Photographs of William Saunders at the China Exchange, London, Nov 4-12, 2016
Exhibition description from the China Exchange website:
Qing Dynasty Shanghai: The Photographs of William Saunders features a selection of 35 to 40 original 19th-century albumen silver prints, many hand-colored, by William Saunders from the Stephan Loewentheil Historical Photography of China Collection, the largest holding of late Qing dynasty photographs of China in private hands.
This is the first public exhibition devoted to Saunder’s photography. Saunders occupies a distinguished place in the history of photography for the exceptional body of work he produced in Shanghai during the late Qing dynasty. For over 25 years, Saunders operated Shanghai’s leading photographic studio, adjacent to the Astor House Hotel, a center of social activity on the Bund in the 19th century. Saunders’s images are an unrivaled photographic resource for the study of life in late Qing dynasty Shanghai.
Description from the Liberty website: "Celebrating the hand-crafted medium of torn collage, the Constantine Liberty print guides us through an alluring Eastern world of enticing exotic flowers, tumultuous, tumbling oceans and the sun streaked skies of ancient India."
Description from the Liberty website: " Detailed glimpses at the prized antiquities, famed landmarks and iconic symbols collected along the well travelled Silk Road are featured in the East Meets West Liberty print. Motifs and treasured articles held great influence and were exchanged from one civilization to another, infiltrating new cultures and integrating into existing artistic pursuits."
Description from the Liberty website: "Fragmented prints combine harmoniously to create a mosaic of dashing dots and scattered stars. Elements strongly linked to Ottoman heritage and Islamic art effortlessly run through this stand-out Liberty print."
Description from the Liberty website: "Capturing the beauty of traditional Central Asian silk warp ikat garments, this Bosphorus Liberty print celebrates the craft of the specialist weavers and dyers situated along the Silk Road. Characteristically large scale and dyed with vibrant colours the principal use of these fabrics was to create heavily quilted outer garments typically for the local Jewish communities. Unlike the craft of several other cultures this particular ikat tradition does not honor or place importance on a precise outline of patterning but instead desires the aesthetic achievement of a bold effect."
Description from the Liberty website: "Offering a vibrance and beauty to rival the arid landscapes synonymous with Central Asia, the softly blurred effect of this Beyoglu Liberty print ikat imitates reflections in a pool of water which acted as a refuge from the oppressive heat and created an illusion of a lush garden."
Description from the Liberty website: "This breathtaking large scale Liberty print celebrates beautiful, hand embroidered decorative textiles from Kazakhstan and surrounding Central Asian countries. The use of bold shape and vivid colour in the Suzani Circles print mimic the eye-catching motifs that often adorn the surfaces of these much sought after textiles."
Description from the Liberty website: "A smaller scale interpretation of a modern homage to the history of Central Asian textiles runs throughout the Sun Disks Liberty print. Trailing vines and leaves entwine between the loose geometry of the carefully curated sun and moon disks."
Description from liberty.co.uk:
"Celebrating the visual spectacle offered by the bustling nature of Turkish souks and markets, Grand Bazaar is a sensational visual show of pattern and colour. Exotic spices, aromatic buds and dried flowers dazzle and dance in this bountiful Liberty print in an assault on the senses."
Walter Sickert, Bust portrait of the Maharajah of Bhavnagar, 1893. 19.2 cm x 24.6 cm. © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London. From artandarchitecture.org.uk.
John Frederick Lewis, A male figure in North African dress, c. 1841-51, 38.8 x 26.3 cm. Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London. From artandarchitecture.org.uk.
"A Day on the Grand Canal with the Emperor of China, Or Surface is Illusion but So is Depth," film by Philip Haas and David Hockney, 1988
Description from the Milestone Films website:
Director Philip Haas (Angels and Insects andUp at the Villa), and artist David Hockney invite you to join them on a magical journey through China via a marvelous 72-foot long 17th-century Chinese scroll entitled The Kangxi Emperor's Southern Inspection Tour (1691-1698), scroll seven. As Hockney unrolls the beautiful and minutely detailed work of art, he traces the Emperor Kangxi’s second tour of his southern empire in 1689.
Painted by Wang Hui (1632-1717) and assistants, it was executed before Western perspective was introduced into Chinese art. Hockney contrasts the more fluid spatial depictions of this scroll with a later scroll painted by Xu Yang and assistants, The Qianlong Emperor's Southern Inspection Tour (1764-1770), scroll four. It illustrates the same tour, but now taken by the Qianlong emperor, grandson of the Kangxi emperor. Influenced by Western perspective, the Qianlong scroll presents the emperor in a single tableau, whereas the Kangxi scroll depicts a continuous travel narrative filled with details of daily life in the towns and countryside along the route. Reference is also made to the use of perspective in Capriccio: Plaza San Marco Looking South and West (1763) by Italian painter Canaletto (1697-1768).
Hockney’s charming and fascinating narration helps bring the bustling streets and waterfronts of three hundred years ago to life. Hockney spins a dazzling discourse on eastern and western perceptive and their relationship to his own artistic vision. His trip through one of China’s most magnificent artworks is a joyous adventure for all!
Nikoo Paydar has a PhD in art history from the Courtauld Institute, London.