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General view of the Bund (painting) - 1867-1868

Title : General view of the Bund (painting) - 1867-1868

Topic : Virtual Shanghai

Location : Shanghai: International Settlement

Date (start) : 1867

Estimated dates : 1867-1868

Nature : Painting

Support image : Paper

Information data : This painting again takes in the view of the Bund from the British Consulate to the French Concession. Although much rougher in its depiction of Shanghai, it nevertheless provides a recognizable look at Shanghai. Perhaps the most radical changes to the architecture of the Bund in this painting when compared with the 1862 work are in the northernmost block of the Bund between the Suzhou Creek Bridge and Peking Road. The settlements street names changed in 1865 when the north-south roads received titles according to Chinese provinces and those that ran east-west Chinese cities. The four lots immediately south of the British Consulate can now be confirmed as buildings distinct from consular use. The first structure, a two-storey flat roofed building, was built by the German trading firm of Pustau and Co. Neighboring this building on the south is the Masonic Hall, one of a handful of buildings on the Bund not dedicated to commercial interests. The distinctive roundel windows on the top floor of the Hall, however, are not visible this picture. Two new buildings to the south of the Masonic Hall complete this block of the Bund to Peking Road. The first, the Comptoir d’Escompte de Paris, occupies a two-story building with a flat roof while its neighbor on the corner lot, Siemssen & Co., has a pitched roof. South of the P. & O. compound, the new Gibb, Livingston & Co. building now matches the neighboring Augustine Heard and Co. building, although without the latter's distinctive viewing platform. Apart from the pared-down detail of this painting, the only other significant change is to the façade of the Shanghai Club that, according to later photos, is an accurate representation. Instead of the porte-cochere shown in the 1862 painting the Club now has a two-storey front porch with a crowning pediment. The river, however, is much more realistically treated with many ships docked at the roadstead either loading cargo or waiting offshore. Interestingly, all those ships that have ensigns are all either Royal Navy or British merchant marine. The painter also included several steam powered tenders and paddle steamers that are making their way among the larger ships. To access the full text, click on the link below.




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