In the Footsteps of George Chinnery
Anyone who knows the paintings of George Chinnery will recognize many scenes in today’s old town
The following itinerary is a lengthy one, but you can select parts if time is short.
Camoes Garden, Casa House and Protestant Cemetery
Begin at the Old Protestant Cemetery (his tomb is one of the most elaborate also here is the Morrison grave that he painted in 1838)
Chinnery arrived in Macau in 1825. He stayed until his death in 1852 and became the doyen of China Coast artists
In his days, this area was something like a British enclave, because the Casa Garden was rented by British merchants, until the founding of Hong Kong
The garden, now Camões Garden, was a popular retreat, and Chinnery painted it many times, as he did the nearby Monte Fort and St. Paul’s (his drawing of the church is one of the few showing it before the fire)
Leal Senado Square
Continue on to the main square, which gave Chinnery many opportunities to use historic buildings, like St. Dominic’s Church and the Santa Casa da Misericórdia, as backdrop for street scenes of children at play, itinerant barbers, market people and animals such as pigs.
From the square take Rua Central to what, in Chinnery’s time, was known as The Ridge, because its wealthy residents could look down on the waterfront dwellers
The artist rented rooms on Rua Ignácio Baptista (the building is gone and for some reason the neighbouring street is named Rua George Chinnery) which was close to some of his favourite subjects, St Lawrence’s Church and Chapel of St. Joseph Seminary
However, to see Chinnery’s most famous scenery you need to go down to the Praia Grande, though you’ll have to use your imagination to screen out the new reclamation
And then make your way to the A-Ma Temple, which hasn’t changed too much, even though the waterfront and pretty sampan girls have long retreated since.
This concludes this walking tour. You can take a bus back to Leal Senado Square across the street.