Revisiting 19th Century Shanghai in Color

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When English photographer William Saunders entered the city of Shanghai in 1862, the first thing he did was to establish one of the very first photography studios in the city. Introducing photography to the city has caught locals and travelers alike their attention.

His photography cost less than the traditional painted portraits, hence they became very popular. Saunders liked to color over the photographs, in which eventually he would hire Chinese artisans, whom will be responsible for the first hand-colored images in China.

The photographs were taken during the Qing Dynasty -- a period in which people wore their hairs in braids due to the imposition of the Manchus; the women wore traditional silk dresses and styled their hair in different updos, but most of them no longer wore their feet bounded. The women also liked to use the parasol as a prop -- which was considered a high fashion accessory.

Saunders captured the city through the eye of a man from the Occident, as seen in his series "Sketches of Chinese Life and Character Studies". He is recognized as a pioneer of photography as well as its flourishin in China.

William Saunders, “The Hand Carriage” (1860s–70s), from his Sketches of Chinese Life and Character series; William Saunders, “A Ningpo Family” (1860s–70s), from his Sketches of Chinese Life and Character series; William Saunders, “Itinerant Barbers” (1860s–70s), from his Sketches of Chinese Life and Character series; William Saunders, “The Brush Seller” (1860s–70s), from his Sketches of Chinese Life and Character series; William Saunders, “Actors” (1860s–70s), from his Sketches of Chinese Life and Character series; William Saunders, “A Young Lady from Canton (Guangzhou)” (1860s–70s), from hisSketches of Chinese Life and Character series; William Saunders, “Shanghai Woman and Child” (1860s–70s), from his Sketches of Chinese Life and Character series; William Saunders, “A Canton (Guangzhou), Woman” (1860s–70s), from his Sketches of Chinese Life and Character series; William Saunders, “A Shanghai Woman” (1860s–70s), from his Sketches of Chinese Life and Character series; William Saunders,” A Civil Mandarin” (1860s–70s), from his Sketches of Chinese Life and Character series; William Saunders, ‘An Ingenious Device” (1860s–70s), from his Sketches of Chinese Life and Character series

Images were sourced from Hyperallergic.

2017-01-28 #culture #places #china #shanghai #portraits #19th-century #hand-colored #qing-dynasty #vintage-photography #william-saunders

One Comment

  1. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    that chicken's feather broom to clean the dust are very famous in Indonesia and we called it kemoceng

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