Dr Josepha Richard

Associate Lecturer

Josepha is an art historian and historian of 18-19th century China, with a specific interest in studying the art of Chinese gardens, early Sino-Western interactions and the urban, social and art history of the city of Guangzhou (Canton).

She received an MA in Art History from Paris IV Sorbonne University, an MA in Advanced Chinese Studies from Leeds University and a PhD in (Chinese) Landscape History at the University of Sheffield.

Her PhD thesis looked at the ways that Hong merchants used their private homes and gardens for social mobility in the global and local context of the Canton System (1757-1842).

Her most recent project combines history of science and art, by researching botanically accurate paintings of Chinese plants commissioned by British trader John Bradby Blake in late 18th century Canton and kept at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation (Virginia).

Recent publications

  • Richard, Josepha, ‘Collecting Chinese Flora: Eighteenth- to Nineteenth-Century Sino-British Scientific and Cultural Exchanges as Seen through British Collections of China Trade Botanical Paintings’Ming Qing Yanjiu, 24 (2020): 209-244. 
  • Richard, Josepha and Jan Woudstra, ‘Thoroughly Chinese: Revealing the plants of the Hong merchants’ gardens through John Bradby Blake’s paintings.’ Curtis’s Botanical Magazine, 34 (2018): 475-497.
  • Richard, Josepha, ‘Uncovering the Garden of the Richest Man on Earth in Nineteenth-Century Canton: Howqua’s Garden in Honam, China.” Garden History 43 (2015): 168–81.