1st Edition

Barbarian Lens Western Photographers of the Qianlong Emperor's European Palaces

By Regine Thiriez Copyright 1998
    216 Pages
    by Routledge

    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    Part of the prestigious academic book series Documenting the Image, this is a fascinating survey illustrated by extremely rare photographs of the burned architectural and landscape complex known as the Rape of the Summer Palace.
    In 1860, Western armies brought ruin to the treasured seat of the Qing emperors near Beijing. One hundred and fifty images have been collected to date as a support for an extensive study of the building of the palaces and their subsequent destruction.
    This book is a rigourous analysis of the work and experiences of the European photographers, both amateur and professional, working in Beijing during this period, and, as such, becomes an account of the development of photography itself. Offering a fascinating glimpse into 19th-Century China, the book gives an historical overview of the political situation.

    Introduction to the Series Introduction I Photography, Beijing and European Palaces 1. Early Photography in Beijing, 1860-1873 2. Foreigners in Beijing, 1860-1925 3. Practicing Photography in China, 1860-1925 4. The European Palaces in the Photographers' Time 5. The European Palaces in the Eighteenth Century 6. The Rape of the Summer Palace and Its Aftermath II Photographers of the European Palaces THE MARITIME CUSTOMS MEN IN THE 1870s 7. The Imperial Chinese Maritime Customs 8. Thomas Child-The Photographer of Old Beijing 9. Ernst Ohlmer-Sailor, Photographer, Customs Officer and Porcelain Collector 10. Theophile Piry-Forty-Five Years in China Through a Camera Lens FROM THE BOXER REBELLION TO THE WARLORDS 11. Alfons Freiherr Mumm von Schwarzenstein-A German Envoy in 1901 China 12. From the 1911 Revolution to the Warlords, The Individuals, The Group of Photographs, Conclusion


    Regine Thiriez

    'Fascinating....Apart from having accomplished the important task of assembling and analyzing these photographs, Thiriez has a fine eye for the telling detail....This book will be of great interest to virtually all those interested in nineteenth-century China, and in the colonial angle from which these photographs tell so many different stories, as well as those concerned with the history of photography itself.' - Joanna Waly-Cohen, New York University of Arts

    'All historians of China now have a major debt to pay to Dr. Thiriez for her masterful study of the world of photography in nineteenth-century China. The book itself is especially fun for anyone who has ever done historical research. In fact, 'the historian as detective' is a major feature of the book, a subject all research historians understand and that few actually reveal in the writings ... Clearly this is a work which has many dimensions and one which a very large number of historians are likely to profit from. I recommend the book highly.' - Steven A. Leibo, Asia Book Review

    'Regine Thiriez's level of scholarship is unmatched in this field ... An innovative and worthwhile book that will make significant advances in the study of late imperial China and the encounter between China and the rest of the world.' - John Finlay, Curator of Asian Art, Brooklyn Museum, New York