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Artist Background 

Thomas Allom (1804-1872) is a well-known British illustrator for travel books in the 19th century. He studied at the Royal Academy in London. Allom was inspired by the Orientalist movement of his time. He was carried away by the magical atmosphere of the East. From the 1820s onwards, Allom travelled extensively through the UK and continental Europe. In 1834, he traveled to the Turkish cities of Istanbul and Bursa, and produced hundreds of drawings during the journey through Anatolia, Syria and Palestine. There is no concrete evidence showing that Allom had travelled to China. His Chinese illustrations may be based on the works of other artists such as Lieutenant Frederick White and Captain James Stoddart. China Illustrated was published by Fisher Son & Co. in London in 1845. There are 75 steel engravings describing Chinese social habits, scenery and architecture by Thomas Allom. Orientalism shaped how Allom depicted things and what Allom understood about the Chinese society. After illustrating Constantinople and the Scenery of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor in 1838 and China Illustrated in 1845, Thomas Allom became one of the most renowned Orientalist artists of his time. He is represented in collections of the Tate Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the National Library of Australia.

Thomas Allom 1804-1872

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