Praia Grande, Macao, China. Photograph by John Thomson, 1870.
View around the curve of the harbour with buildings, and a hill in the background. Boats at anchor in the harbour. Thomson's negative number 283 gives the view from the other side of the harbour
Throughout the 19th century Praia Grande was the most fashionable address in Macau. It had captured the imagination of a number of artists and photographers and, from the 1820s onwards, a view of the Praia Grande was the souvenir of Macau par excellence. Both of the well-known painters George Chinnery and Lamqua were residents of Macau at the time, and the view of the Praia Grande was one of their favourite subjects. In 1844 Jules Itier, the head of the French trade commission in China, made the first photograph of this famous view in the form of a daguerreotype. In 1870, when John Thomson took this photograph, he selected a view looking down on the Praia Grande from Penha Hill above Bishop’s Bay. In the 20th century the area around Praia Grande underwent remarkable redevelopment, and it is no longer possible to see the famous view of picturesque Praia Grande except in old paintings, photographs and postcards