'Mode of Dressing the Hair', c 1871.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of a young Chinese woman by John Thomson, published in 1873 in the book 'Foochow and the River Min'. This sensitive portrait shows details of her clothing, earrings and hairstyle. Fresh flowers are woven into her hair. Thomson travelled extensively in Fujian province, formerly Fukien, south east China, from late 1870 to early 1871. The book records his journey up the River Min by boat from Fuzhou to Nanping, a distance of about 160 miles. Thomson was one of the most significant travel photographer-explorers of the nineteenth century. He travelled extensively throughout Asia, documenting the antiquities, landscapes and people of Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Macao and China.