Lithograph. Image measures 12.5" x 17'. Sheet measures 15" x 21.75".
This print depicts the courtyard of the Hoi Tong Monastery, a Buddhist temple in Guangzhou, China. At the time of the artists visit, this temple, sometimes called the Sea Screen Temple, had recently been ceded to the British in the aftermath of the First Opium War. Monks are scattered around the grounds, some sitting in the shade and others attending to the temples famously fat pigs. Far in the background, a group of monks may be practicing kung-fu, which was taught at the monastery. The Sea Screen Temple was one of Auguste Borgets favorite Chinese sites to visit, and his delicate yet active rendering of the scene conveys the peaceful quality of the courtyard he loved so much. I have visited the great temple several times, he wrote, the noise outside the temple was so great and the silence inside the temple was so solemn, that I believed myself transported to another world.
This print is in very good condition with wide margins as issued. Minor chips to the lower margin and some corners not affecting the image. Bright white paper makes for a lovely and clear image.
The French artist Auguste Borget (1809-1877) exhibited often in the Paris Salon, but he is best known for his drawings of China, made into lithographs by Eugene Ciceri and published in 1842 in a book titled La Chine et les Chinois [China and the Chinese]. Bourget visited the country aboard the ship "Psyche" to Canton and the surrounding regions in 1838 and 1839 as part of a world tour, and found it to be one of his favorites. This print evidences his love of the country and its culture.