Portrait of the Canton Merchant Wu-ping Chien
AN OIL ON CANVAS PORTRAIT OF THE CANTON MERCHANT WU-PING CHIEN (Chinese, c. 1840) by Lamqua (Chinese, 1801- c. 1860). Wu-Ping Chien (Chinese, 1769-1843), also known as Howqua, was renowned as the wealthiest and most just of all the Chinese merchants active in the China Trade. He amassed one of the largest fortunes of the 19th century, worth $26 million in 1830. He sponsored many American firms in Canton such as Russell & Company. This portrait was said to have been presented by Russell & Co. merchants to William Henry Hunter King (1818-1897) when he retired from Russell & Company in 1849. Wu Pin-Chien is depicted here seated in a half-length view, wearing a rich black robe with a brightly embroidered dragon and blue collar. He also wears two long strings of beads, and a red cap rests on a table to his left. The painting is house in an ornate gilt/gesso frame.
oil on canvas
40 1/2" x 36"
Gift of the Estate of Mrs. Gwendolen E. Rives.
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