NATURAL HISTORY DRAWINGS - THE COMPLETE WILLIAM FARQUHAR COLLECTION, MALAY PENINSULA 1803-1818
"Quite the loveliest book I have had the luck to leaf through in the past 12 months. The coloured drawings are captivating in their combination of Chinese nature painting tradition and a more scientific European approach."~
Category: Art & Fashion, History, Natural History, Science & Environment
This book brings together for the first time all 477 pieces in Colonel William Farquhar’s collection of natural history drawings, commissioned during his time as British Resident and Commandant of Malacca from 1803 to 1818. Covering a wide spectrum of flora and fauna, the evocative paintings were rendered in brilliant watercolour by Chinese artists who employed both Chinese and Western painting techniques. In an era when photography was non-existent, the only means of recording nature and wildlife was through painting. Accompanied by authoritative essays and detailed captions, Natural History Drawings: The Complete William Farquhar Collection is a valuable addition to the art or nature lover’s library, and indispensable to those with an interest in the region. It showcases some fascinating wildlife still present in the region today and is also an important record of species that have been lost or are diminished in number.
"Quite the loveliest book I have had the luck to leaf through in the past 12 months. The coloured drawings are captivating in their combination of Chinese nature painting tradition and a more scientific European approach."
Financial Times, London 2013-01-04
- Harry Eyres
Colonel William Farquhar (1774–1839) was a British Colonial Officer who was Commandant of Malacca in 1803, a post through which he was able to indulge his interest in natural history, sending men to collect plant and animal specimens, which he then commissioned artists to paint. After the handover of Malacca to the Dutch in 1818, Farquhar left for Penang, where he met Stamford Raffles, whom he would assist in the founding of modern Singapore as a British trading outpost. Farquhar served as Resident and Commandant of Singapore for four years, during which the colony flourished and prospered. He retired to Scotland in 1824.
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