A scene at the entrance to the Yang Tse Kiang river at Woosung, a coastal settlement close to Shanghai. The Yang Tse Kiang was highly important as the longest river in Asia and third longest in the world. In 1842 the Opium War between Britain and China ended with the signing of the Treaty of Nanking. This effectively opened up the five main Chinese ports of Canton, Amoy, Ningpo, Shanghai and Foochow to European traders, who needed considerable naval protection from the persistent depredations of Chinese pirates. By 1794 Britain was buying four million kilograms of tea each year, in a trade strictly controlled by China. This painting relates to the British presence in China. A variety of shipping is at anchor and the scene is still and calm. In the foreground a British frigate is shown at anchor at the mouth of the estuary. In the left foreground two large Chinese junks are shown with canopies over them. Smaller junks of varying sizes are under way moving through the islands. A mountain is shown on the right and there are a number of fortifications built into the landscape.
- Image reference: BHC1784
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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