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Portrait of Emily Macphersonc 1870s

by unknown artist

Emily Macpherson, born in 1863, was the mother of artist and architect, John D Moore and grandmother of photographer, David Moore.

The portraits of Emily and her sister Isabel are typical of portraits created in China from photographs. Companies such as the Chinese and Oriental Photo & Oil Portrait Co offered full-size portraits in oil, painted from small photographs or cartes de visite forwarded to studios in China where enlarged copies were made.

The completed paintings were shipped to Sydney for collection and payment. While many people took advantage of this, others saw it as producing an inferior product and undercutting local Australian artists.