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China: Through the Lens of John Thomson (1868-1872) Hardcover – 1 Aug 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: River Books; Bilingual edition (1 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 6167339007
  • ISBN-13: 978-6167339009
  • Product Dimensions: 31.1 x 2.3 x 31.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 413,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John Thomson was born June 14th 1837, in Edinburgh, Scotland. After his schooling in the early 1850s he completed his photographic apprenticeship around 1858. In April 1862, Thomson set off for Singapore. There he opened his first photo studio and became a commercial photographer. During this period, he travelled extensively throughout Asia, photographing the native peoples and their activities. He is the author of several books including 'The Antiquities of Cambodia' (1867), 'Foochow and the River Min' (1873), 'Illustrations of China and its people' (1873), 'Street life in London' (1878) and 'Through China with a Camera' (1898). In 1881 he was appointed photographer to the British Royal Family by Queen Victoria. After retiring from his commercial studio in 1910, Thomson spent most of his time back in Edinburgh. In October 1921, Thomson died of a heart attack at the age of 84.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Darcly on 29 Aug 2010
Format: Hardcover
Went to the exhibition & really enjoyed it so got the book as well. It's really well done. Includes all the photos from the exhibition and is informative.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Graeme Stewart VINE VOICE on 5 Feb 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a treasure trove of beautiful images, as seen in the best photographic exhibition I have seen in years. This was my second John Thomson exhibition, the first being in Edinburgh at the National Library of Scotland, in 1996. The current exhibition is far superior, with a wider range of images, in much better prints. The exhibition photographs , as my fellow reviewer says, are all in this book, which is billed as the "catalogue", but is beautifully produced, in the highest quality. For anyone interested in photography, China, and its social history, this is a must have.

It shows the quality of Thomsons' work, using primitive equipment, in sometimes primitive conditions, but resolving incredible detail even in the largest prints, and despite 130 of damage inflicted on the glass negatives. My book of the year, despite it only being February.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book after seeing the exhibition at the Burrell Collection in Glasgow; the book was too heavy to buy there are carry home on the train.
Beautifully reproduced photographs in the book capturing all the quality of the prints at the exhibition. Thompson had an artist's eye leaving an important and fascinating visual history of China in the mid-nineteenth century. The modest damage to the glass negatives evident in the prints in no way detracts from the visual impact.
Breathtaking!
A window on a vanished world, captured soon after the dawn of photography; truely superb from both the photographic and historical perspective, a must have even if you have seen the exhibition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
China photos 25 Oct 2011
By Richard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book that disucsses the work of John Thomson who took numerous photos of China in the 1860's. Even though a few of his books have been reprinted, this shows many that I have never seen. Well documented and researched.
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