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Fangguangyan monastery, Fujian province, China: two Buddhist priests. Photograph by John Thomson, 1870-1871.

  • Thomson, J. (John), 1837-1921.
  • Pictures

Selected images from this work

About this work


Two men, the older sitting, the younger standing, beside a table on which stands a statue of the Buddha. An interior with carved screens

Fangguanyan monastery was located in Yongtai county about 30 kilometres from Fuzhou, on the upper reach of the Min River. It was for Thomson the most interesting of all the sites near Fuzhou. During his visit he befriended the three monks dwelling there. The old priest shown in this photograph was blind and, according to Thomson, quite infirm. The younger one however was an 'able bodied, good natured youth'. Each day they strictly kept their ritual observances, as recorded here. Each day they strictly kept their ritual observances, as recorded here.



Physical description

1 photograph : glass photonegative, wet collodion ; glass approximately 30.5 x 25.5 cm (12 x 10 in.)


Buddhist priests


This is one of a collection of original glass negatives made by John Thomson. The negatives, made between 1868 and 1872, were purchased from Thomson by Sir Henry Wellcome in 1921

References note

China through the lens of John Thomson, 1868-1872, Beijing: Beijing World Art Museum, 2009, p. 86 (reproduced)

Lettering note

Bears Thomson's negative number: "640"


Wellcome Library no. 19528i


  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatusAccess
    Closed stores
    By appointmentManual request


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