KINLOCH, Charles Walker; attributed to
Singapore, from the East Side of Government Hill
[N.p. circa 1852]. Oil on canvas, early title in ink on the stretcher, 19 7/8 x 30 1/8 inches, relined. In fine period gilt frame.
An intriguing early view of Singapore as it looked in 1852.
In 1852, Charles W. Kinloch, a British officer serving in the Bengal Civil Service, journeyed to Penang, Singapore and Java on the recommendation of his doctors, to recover from his poor health in Calcutta. Upon his return, he anonymously published De Zieke Reiziger; Or, Rambles in Java and the Straits in 1852 (London: 1853), illustrated with 23 coloured and tinted plates. Among the illustrations is a view from the same perspective, which appears to be after the present painting. Bastin and Brommer confirm that "the plates [in the printed book] are presumably after drawings by Kinloch himself." However, it also seems possible that the painting was acquired by Kinloch in Singapore from a Chinese export artist. In the book, Kinloch writes of this view of Singapore: "The best view of the town and the surrounding country is to be had from the summit of the Government Hill; from this point, there is an extensive panoramic view, which comprises the whole of the town and shipping, and several of the adjacent hills." The view shows the Padang, Raffles Institution, and St. Andrew's Church, with Coleman Street running to the right of the church.
Cf. Abbey Travel II, 556; cf. M. Teo, Yu-Chee Chong and J. Oh, Nineteenth Century Prints of Singapore, Singapore, 1987, p.85, pls 30-3; Cf. Bastin and Brommer, 406n.