State Library of NSW
Portrait of Isabel Macphersonc 1870s
Isabel Macpherson, born in 1867, married Robert Aitken, a flour miller.
The portraits of Isabel and her sister Emily 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.