The Italian-British Felice Beato (1832-1909) was amongst the earliest photographers to dedicate his career to photographing Asia and the Near East. His travels led him to numerous countries around the world, for instance India, Greece, Palestine, Korea, Japan, and China. If Chinese exotic sceneries and portraits were popular subject matter, the chronicling of the successive wars that occurred during the second half of the nineteenth century became also important topic in the medium of photography. Beato sailed to China on February 1860 with Hope Grant, the British commander in the Second Opium War (1856-1860). A pioneer war photographer, Beato recorded the aftermaths of the battles, often with dead still in place. Nevertheless his oeuvre remained diverse, encompassing various genres such as topographical and architectural views, panoramas, portraits, and costume studies. Images come from the J. Paul Getty Museum online catalogue.
See more of Felice Beato’s work at Photography of China.
Photography Friday is a regular feature from Shanghaiist in association with Photography of China, Marine Cabos’s fantastic trilingual blog about photography and photographers in China.