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William Alexander

William Alexander

   Unclassified artists
62 artworks found



A group of Chinese watching the Earl Macartney's Embassy to China
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View of Golden Mountain Island in the Blue River, China, c.1794 (pen, ink und...
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Emperor of China's Gardens, Imperial Palace, Peking, 1793
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A Chinese Comedian, illustration from 'The Costume of China', 1805
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An Offering of First Fruits to the God Fo, plate 16 from 'A Voyage to Cochinc...
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View of Santa Cruz, plate 3 from 'A Voyage to Cochinchina' by John Barrow (17...
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The Calvinistic Church in Batavia, plate 9 from 'A Voyage to Cochinchina' by ...
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Porto Praya in the Island of St. Jago, plate 4 from 'A Voyage to Cochinchina'...
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The Discovery on the Rocks in Queen Charlotte's Sound, engraved by B.T. Poune...
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Scene in a Cochin-Chinese Opera, plate 13 from 'A Voyage to Cochinchina' by J...
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A group of Chinese on the bank of a river, watching the Earl Macartney's Emba...
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Arcos de Carioco, or Grand Aqueduct in Rio de Janeiro, plate 5 from 'A Voyage...
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William Alexander

William Alexander

   •   Unclassified artists   •   Wikipedia: William Alexander
62 artworks found

The drawings and illustrations of William Alexander shaped the European image of Chinese culture until the 20th century. China, and especially the Chinese Imperial Palace, became places of longing on the one hand, and on the other hand the targets of concrete economic hopes. The strangeness of Chinese culture fascinated Alexander's contemporaries, and many hopes for unimaginable economic profit in the Middle Kingdom captivated the imagination. The projections lived from the mysterious that surrounded Chinese culture. Little information reached Europe, as the empire shut itself off from the outside world and looked with contempt at the rest of the world. In 1792, a British government expedition set out for the Forbidden City with the aim of moving the Middle Kingdom to the British Empire for trade relations. The 25-year-old budding draughtsman and painter William Alexander was given the chance of a lifetime and was commissioned as assistant to the painter Thomas Hickey to provide artistic guidance for the expedition. Williams had been selected for an art education in London at the age of 15 because of his talent and had attracted the attention of the royal court painter and president of the Royal Academy Joshua Reynolds at the Royal Academy Schools. He accompanied the art education of the young student and supported him. On Reynolds' recommendation, Williams was finally accepted into the artistic staff of the political expedition to China.

During the two-year journey and the stay in China Williams took over the artistic leadership in the escort team, because the designated Thomas Hickey with psychological problems became a total failure, who did not manage to produce any drawings and illustrations in the whole time. The young Williams, on the other hand, went through the foreign world of the Chinese Empire with open eyes and became a chronicler of the foreign with thousands of drawings. Williams found himself confronted with a culture that claimed to be economically, technologically and intellectually far superior. The Middle Kingdom was at the height of its power in the Quing Dynasty at the end of the 18th century and ruled over an area that extended far beyond the borders of present-day China. With over 300 million inhabitants, the emperor ruled over an empire that went beyond the imagination of the Europeans.

The Macartney expedition became a complete failure because, among other things, the British envoy refused to make the ceremonial gesture of submission, the kowtow, before the Emperor. The 2000 drawings of Chinese culture and everyday life in the Middle Kingdom were used as illustrations for the official travelogues after the expedition's return in 1794 and achieved outstanding popularity in Great Britain and throughout Europe. Between 1798 and 1814, three illustrated books were published, based on the drawings. The splendour and pomp of the imperial court, the people and the culture were reproduced by Williams in detail and true to life, without the colonial sense of superiority and posturing of other artists. © Meisterdrucke




William Alexander
 
Undated | engraving

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William Alexander
Barges of Lord Macartney's Embas...
Undated |

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William Alexander
 
Undated | Watercolor on paper

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William Alexander
A group of Chinese watching the ...
Undated | watercolour on paper

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William Alexander
 
Undated | watercolour

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William Alexander
 
1795 | watercolour on paper

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William Alexander
 
Undated | watercolour on paper

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William Alexander
 
Undated | watercolour on paper

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William Alexander
 
Undated | watercolour over graphite on paper

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William Alexander
View of Golden Mountain Island i...
Undated | pen, ink and wash

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William Alexander
Emperor of China's Gardens, Impe...
1793 | Watercolor on paper

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Emperor of China's Gardens, Impe...
1793 | Watercolor on paper

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William Alexander
A Chinese Comedian, illustration...
1805 | engraving

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William Alexander
 
18th century | watercolour over graphite on wove paper

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William Alexander
 
Undated |

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William Alexander
 
Undated | Watercolor on paper

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William Alexander
An Offering of First Fruits to t...
1806 | coloured aquatint

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William Alexander
View of Santa Cruz, plate 3 from...
1806 | coloured aquatint

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William Alexander
The Calvinistic Church in Batavi...
1806 | coloured aquatint

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William Alexander
Porto Praya in the Island of St....
1806 | coloured aquatint

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William Alexander
The Discovery on the Rocks in Qu...
Undated | engraving

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William Alexander
 
Undated | watercolour over graphite, on paper

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William Alexander
Scene in a Cochin-Chinese Opera,...
1806 | coloured aquatint

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William Alexander
A group of Chinese on the bank o...
1793 | watercolour on paper

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A group of Chinese on the bank o...
1793 | watercolour on paper

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William Alexander
Arcos de Carioco, or Grand Aqued...
1806 | coloured aquatint

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William Alexander
Conway Castle (pencil und wc on ...
Undated | pencil and watercolour on paper

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Conway Castle (pencil und wc on ...
0 | pencil and watercolour on paper

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William Alexander
 
Undated | watercolour over black lead

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William Alexander
 
Undated | watercolour on paper

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William Alexander
 
Undated | watercolour over black lead

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William Alexander
 
1812 | watercolour on paper

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William Alexander
 
Undated | watercolour

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William Alexander
 
Undated |

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William Alexander
 
Undated |

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William Alexander
 
Undated | watercolour

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William Alexander
 
Undated |

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William Alexander
 
Undated |

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William Alexander
 
Undated |

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William Alexander
 
1795 | watercolour on paper

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William Alexander
 
Undated | watercolour on paper

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William Alexander
 
Undated | watercolour on paper

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William Alexander
 
Undated | watercolour on paper

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William Alexander
 
Undated | watercolour on paper

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William Alexander
 
Undated | pencil and watercolour on paper

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