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Peking, Pechili province, China: Yi Xin (Prince Gong). Photograph by John Thomson, 1869.

  • Thomson, J. (John), 1837-1921
1872 [?]
  • Pictures
  • Online

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view Peking, Pechili province, China: Yi Xin (Prince Gong). Photograph by John Thomson, 1869.


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Credit: Peking, Pechili province, China: Yi Xin (Prince Gong). Photograph by John Thomson, 1869. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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About this work


A portrait of a man, seated, with a rockery in the background. The same man, wearing the same clothes, as in Thomson's negative number 691. Identified as Yi Xin (Prince Gong), sixth son of Emperor Daoguang and the youngest brother of Emperor Xianfeng. He was little known before 1860, when the Emperor fled the capital to escape the British and French army. On behalf of his brother and the Qing government, Prince Gong met General Gordon and the allied powers and negotiated the peace treaty. After that Prince Gong held several high military and civil appointments, including membership of the Supreme Council. He was also in charge of the Office of Foreign Affairs. In this portrait Thomson intended to show a modernizer and a pro-Western figure right at the top of the Chinese government, one who was 'quick of apprehension, open to advice, and comparatively liberal in his views'


1872 [?]

Physical description

1 photograph : glass photonegative, wet collodion ; glass approximately 25.5 x 20.5 cm (10 x 8 in.)


Prince Kung, China.


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

Cf Illustrations, I, I, 1, "Prince Kung"
Stephen White, John Thomson life and photographs, London, 1985, plate 108
China through the lens of John Thomson, 1868-1872, Beijing: Beijing World Art Museum, 2009, p. 20 (reproduced)

Lettering note

Bears Thomson's negative number: "692"


Wellcome Library no. 19632i


  • English

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