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George Chinnery (Chinese: 錢納利; 5 January 1774 – 30 May 1852) was an english painter who spent most of his life in Asia, especially India and southern China. Chinnery was born in London and after training in England became a famous portrait painter in Ireland by 1802. His father owned several trading ships and his elder brother, William Chinnery, owned what is now Gilwell Park. He was a close friend of the artist, William Armfield Hobday.
Chinnery ran into debt and went to India in 1802 on a ship named Gilwell. He there re-established himself as a painter, but debt prompted a move again in 1825, when he went to southern China. While in China, he mentored Lam Qua, who eventually became a renowned medical portrait painter. He travelled around the Pearl River Delta, between Macau and Canton (now Guangzhou). He had been to Hong Kong after the British founded the city, and subsequently fell ill. He died in Macau in 1852 and is buried in the Old Protestant Cemetery there.
Other than artistic value, his paintings are historically valuable as he was the only western painter in South China between the early and mid 19th century. He presented the life of common people and landscape of the Pearl River delta at that period. Chinnery left sketches for creation of other paintings. He had learnt shorthand from his grandfather and he used his modified shorthand for jotting quick notes on sketches. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation has a collection of Chinnery’s works because of his connection to Hong Kong. But also Matheson Ltd, Museu de Arte de Macau, Sociedade de Geografia and several private collectors.
He’s the Western artist who most influenced India and Southern China in the 19th century. He moved to Macao in 1825, and his vivid and lively sketches of local street scenes have become precious historical records for the study of the region’s history.
George Chinnery, nascido em Londres em 1774, é um dos mais conhecidos retratistas que visitaram o Oriente – incluindo a China e a Índia – e  um dos mais influentes pintores ocidentais que trabalharam no Oriente durante o séc. XIX. O seu avô era perito em desenho de croquis e Chinnery, por ordem de seu pai, foi educado na Royal Academy of Arts a partir dos 18 anos. Em 1802, Chinnery deixou a Inglaterra para se fixar no Oriente. Em 1825 radicou-se em Macau em 1825 onde morreu a 30 de Maio de 1852. Está sepultado no Cemitério Protestante. Durante a sua estada no território – que lhe deu um nome de rua, capturou para a posteridade retratos, paisagens e cenas da vida quotidiana. Tais obras preservam os traços da Macau de então e servem como preciosos registos históricos da cidade já que na altura a fotografia dava os primeiros passos. Chinnery viveu também em Cantão e Hong Kong durante um curto período. A Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa tem uma colecção de desenhos de Chinnery.
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