Among the Celestials

China in Early Photographs

Ferry Bertholet and Lambert van der Aalsvoort; With an introduction by Régine Thiriez

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The flourishing of photography as a medium in the mid-19th century coincided with a rise in curiosity about China on the part of the Western world.  As the number of foreigners living and traveling in China increased, early photographs of China were taken by and for an international audience. Among the Celestials assembles 250 fascinating images of China in the second half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th, captured by the Western camera lens. The photographs portray the gritty side of the country as well as stunning views of palaces, temples, harbors, and gardens. This juxtaposition of the sordid and the serene provides a multidimensional picture of China’s physical and social landscape before Mao Zedong’s ascent to power changed the country forever. The photographs, many published here for the first time, are both beautiful and moving, and together offer a new understanding of a social and cultural history associated with a time of significant historical change. 
Ferry Bertholet is an artist, author, and collector. Lambert van der Aalsvoort is an historian, author, and collector. Régine Thiriez is a researcher in 19th-century photography in China.  

Among the Celestials assembles 250 fascinating images of China in the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, captured by the Western camera lens. . .This juxtaposition of the sordid and the serene provides a multi-dimensional picture of China’s physical and social landscape before Mao Zedong’s ascent to power changed the country forever. The photographs, many published here for the first time, are both beautiful and moving, and together offer a new understanding of a social and cultural history associated with a time of significant historical change.’—The Independent on Sunday
 
ISBN: 9780300196566
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Co-publisher: Distributed for Mercatorfonds
224 pages, 10 x 11 3/4
250 color illus.

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