|British photographer, employed from 1870 to 1889 in Beijing as a gas engineer for the Imperial Maritime Customs. His portfolio Views of Peking and its Vicinity is a series of signed and dated full‐plate images; he numbered and captioned 208 of them. Most originate between 1875 and 1880, long before Beijing had begun to change. The set was sold commercially and soon became, in China and abroad, ‘the’ visual reference on the old imperial capital. The images found their way into private albums and publications well into the 20th century and inspired generations of photographers. Probably because of prevalent anti‐Westernism, Child generally disregarded local life: his work made Beijing appear primarily as a repository of traditional monumental architecture.
Source: Régine Thiriez: Barbarian Lens (1994).