domingo, 13 de janeiro de 2019

Sketches in Macao: 1832 e 1838




A 29 de Setembro de 1825 chegava a Macau o pintor inglês George Chinnery (auto-retrato ao lado) oriundo de Calcutá.
Ficou-se pelas costas do sul da China desde então e até à data da sua morte em 1852. Viveu a maior parte do tempo em Macau. Até meados dos anos trinta efectuou visitas periódicas a Cantão; visitou igualmente Whampoa, Lintin (em 1837) e Hong Kong (em 1846), mas Macau tornou-se na sua terra até à morte, jazendo hoje no cemitério Protestante de Macau.
No seu diário a 7 de Maio de 1833 Harriet Low escreveu: "Levanta-se às cinco horas, sai para a rua e faz esboços e merece com toda a justiça o pequeno-almoço". E acrescentou "divertido" e "fascinantemente feio".
Em Macau Chinnery ficou fascinado com a cidade e a arquitectura: igrejas, templos e a baía da Praia Grande. Teve muitos seguidores e imitadores - Thomas Watson (1815-1860), William Prinsep (1794-1874) e Marciano Baptista (1826-1896) - enriquecendo ainda mais o seu legado. Viveu primeiro na Rua do Hospital e depois no nº 8 da Rua Ignacio Baptista - junto à igreja de s. Lourenço - onde também tinha o estúdio.
Chinnery morreu a 30 de Maio de 1852 sem deixar testamento. As suas obras e bens foram vendidos em hasta pública.
Em 1974, no bicentenário do nascimento de Chinnery, uma placa foi inaugurada no memorial do cemitério pelo governador de Macau, o general José Nobre de Carvalho. A placa incluiu a inscrição: “Pela vida daquele que, viajando longe da terra de seus pais, encontrou nesta cidade um refúgio das aflições e preocupações mundanas de seus primeiros anos". Uma edição especial de selos também foi publicada. E a Travessa do Hospital dos Gatos tornou-se a Rua de George Chinnery.
Extremamente meticuloso na sua arte, Chinnery deixou registos em forma de cartas. Mas isso fica para um próximo post...
Sobre o título deste post aqui fica a justificação: Chinnery faxzia primeiro esboços (sketches) e só depois 'partia' para o trabalho final. Felizmente para todos nós ele não deitava fora os esboços e por isso hoje podemos apreciar cerca de uma centena de obras dele feitas em Macau.
On the 29th of September 1825 the English artist George Chinnery (self portrait up side) landed at Macao from Calcutta.
From 1825 until his death in 1852 he remained on the South China coast. For most of this time he lived in Macao. Until the mid 1830s he made periodic visits to Guangzhou; he also visited Whampoa, Lintin (in 1837) and Hong Kong (in 1846), but Macao became his home until his death, and he lies buried in Macao's Protestant cemetery.
"He gets up at 5 o'clock and goes out and makes sketches and earns his breakfast certainly [...]" wrote Harriet Low in her diary on 7th May 1833. She also added “amusing” and “fascinatingly ugly”.
He lived first at Rua do Hospital and after at 8 Rua Ignacio Baptista - near St. Lawrence church, where he also had his studio. Chinnery was delighted by Macao's scenery and architecture: churches, temples and the seafront. He had many pupils and imitators - Thomas Watson (1815-1860), William Prinsep (1794-1874), and Marciano Baptista (1826-1896) - and his influence endured long after his death.
Chinnery died of a stroke at his home on 30 May 1852. He did not leave a will, and nobody claimed his belongings, which included cases full of paintings and sketches, which were sold by judicial order. In late July that year, a grand auction of the contents of his studio was held in Macau, attended by the cream of Hong Kong society.
In 1974, on the bicentennial anniversary of Chinnery’s birth, a plaque was unveiled at the memorial by the Governor of Macau, General Jose Nobre De Carvalho. The plaque bears a dedication: “For the life of one who, journeying far from the land of his fathers, found in this city a haven of refuge from the besetting tribulations and worldly cares of his earlier years.  A special stamps editon was also published. And Travessa do Hospital dos Gatos became Rua de George Chinnery.
Chinnery's letters will be a theme for a next post...
About the title of this post: Chinnery first draw sketches and only after that the final work. Luckily for all of us he did not throw away the sketches and so today we can appreciate about a hundred works of him made in Macau.



There are at least 2 editions of "Sketches in Macao" (1832) and (1838):
Existem pelos menos dois álbuns de "Sketches in Macao" (1832) e (1838):
- The sketches in the Album belonging to Major Henry Keswick date from 1835 to 1841.  View of S. Domingo Church and Cross opposite Cathedral, Macao, and inscribed on a stone " Sketches in Macao," faintly signed " Geo. Chinnery (1774-1852) or G.C.
- The Reeves Macao Album, 1836-1837
signed with initials and inscribed on the front pastedown "I have added a few sketches in water colour which I hope you'll approve of - GC"
Approximately 200 sketches of Macao and environs comprising scenery and street scenes, sketches of Chinese figures, Tanka boats and boat people, animals, junks, sampans and other sailing craft, 69 leaves, with one loosely inserted sheet (with sketches after Chinnery), 45 pages with multiple sketches, 31 pages with single sketches, including one view of Sao Francisco Fort across two pages, the majority pencil filled in with pen and sepia ink, 5 watercolour, 5 pencil, pen and ink and sepia wash, 9 pencil, the leaves 273 x 203mm., one panoramic sketch of S. Pedro Fort and the Praya Grande extended on the left with an addition 121 x 191mm., the majority inscribed in Chinnery's (Gurney) shorthand and dated (18)37, five dated 1836.
John Russell Reeves (1804-1877), was a East India Company Assistant Inspector of Teas at Canton (appointed 1827).






 Panorâmica com perspectiva sobre o nordeste da península de Macau
 O Fortim de S. Pedro foi um dos pontos de referência predilectos de G. Chinnery registando daqui várias perspectivas sobre a baía da Praia Grande.


 Igreja S. Domingos: desenho de Chinnery e foto século 21

 Vista panorâmica sobre Macau (ao fundo) a partir dos montes de Heng Sheang

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