‘Partly Copies from European Prints’: Johannes Kip and the Invention of Export Landscape Painting in Eighteenth-Century Canton
This paper introduces the way Johannes Kip’s A Prospect of Westminster & A Prospect of the City of London (c. 1720) furnished the design for a handscroll of the River Thames enamelled on the rim of a renowned armorial porcelain service made around 1730-40. Having thus situated an important exemplar of northern European landscape art in China by 1750, it further suggests that Kip’s topographic print may well have played an influential, not to say seminal role in the conceptualization of monumental, panoramic handscrolls of the foreign factories from which ultimately the iconic landscape genre emerged. Descriptive of the site of both commerce and aesthetic exchange, these export paintings have exercised a lasting hold on the historical imagination. In as much as export porcelain signified the China trade for Westerners, export paintings came to represent Canton, if not the whole of China for a global audience.