Purchased by the father of the present owner; thence by descent
The present work can be dated circa 1847 - 1856, thanks to the Anglican church visible to the right, land for which was acquired in 1847. The church and the fenced-off gardens replaced the pagodas of views of Canton predating the First Opium War. In 1856 a great fire destroyed the remaining hongs (here visible flying flags), which were never rebuilt.
The canvas has been lined. There is a pattern of craquelure throughout, with some major scattered 10cm long lines of raised craquelure also visible in the catalogue illustration. However, these appear to have been addressed in the past and appear to be stable. Inspection under ultra-violet light reveals scattered areas and spots of retouching throughout the composition, notably in sky. As also visible in the catalogue illustration, there is a layer of varnish which has somewhat degraded in time thus affecting the appearance of the painting. This work would benefit from cleaning and restoration.
Presented in a Chinese ebonised frame with a nameplate. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."