A fine antique 19th century Imperial Chinese watercolour of pith paper of a criminal being tortured. Mounted under stiff card ready for framing.
Chinese export watercolors were painted in the port cities of China for sale to western customers in the late 18th and 19th centuries. Until the middle of the 19th century the watercolors were mostly souvenirs brought back by merchants. Afterward, they became commodities in their own right. The watercolors were painted in workshops initially on European papers, particularly paper produced by the English firm of J Whatman, but later on pith 'paper', produced from the pith of the Chinese plant tongcao. Many were issued in sets. Colours used were those common in Chinese painting, but there was a clear tendency for primary hues to predominate, especially in those done on pith paper.
Watercolour Size: 35.5 x 22.5 cm approx
Mount Size: 37 x 28 cm approx