An Album of Sketches on the Voyage from England to China with Lord Macartney's Embassy
- Former Title(s):
An Album of sixteen Marine Views of Islands and Ports on the Voyage from England to China: Madiera South East Extremity
- Materials & Techniques:
- Watercolor, graphite, pen and brown and black ink on medium, slightly textured, cream laid paper
- Cover: 4 1/8 × 10 13/16 inches (10.5 × 27.5 cm)
Inscribed in pen and black ink, front cover of album: "Sketches | by Captain Parish on the | Voyage from England to China | in 1793-4 | with Lord Macartney's Embafsy."
- Credit Line:
- Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
- Copyright Status:
- Public Domain
- Accession Number:
- Drawings & Watercolors
- Prints and Drawings
- Subject Terms:
- landscape | marine art
- Associated Places:
- Brazil | Canary Islands | Cape Verde | Castelo Branco | Indonesia | Madeira | Malta | Niterói | Portugal | Praia | Rio de Janeiro | Saint Helena | Santa Cruz de Tenerife | Santiago | Sotavento | Spain | Sudeste | Sunda Strait | Tristan da Cunha
- Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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Henry William Parish, active 1792, An Album of Sketches on the Voyage from England to China with Lord Macartney's Embassy, 1792-1793
This album contains sixteen views from the outward voyage of George Macartney’s diplomatic mission to China, an attempt to persuade the Chinese imperial court to broaden its trade policies with Britain. The naval ship Lion and an East India Company vessel, the Hindostan, departed Portsmouth in September 1792, intending to sail around the Cape of Good Hope and eastward into the Indian Ocean. Trade winds forced them to cross the Atlantic to South America, and they remained for several weeks in Rio de Janeiro, where Henry William Parish made this view. Recrossing the Atlantic, they arrived at Macau in June 1793. Parish was a lieutenant in the Royal Artillery and a trained draftsman. His sketch of Rio, then the heavily fortified Portuguese colonial capital and entrepôt for sugar, gold, and gems, combines the kind of coastal profile the Royal Navy relied upon for navigation and a military interest in the embrasures (openings for gun placements) of the port’s defenses. Macartney’s embassy attempted to create interest in British manufactured products to offset the trade deficit caused by British demand for Chinese goods, particularly tea and silk. While the mission famously failed in these aims, the visual and textual descriptions of the expedition brought back new knowledge of Chinese people and customs. Gallery label for Spreading Canvas - Eighteenth-Century British Marine Painting (Yale Center for British Art, 2016-09-09 - 2016-12-04)
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