John Papillon

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John Ashton Papillon (1838–1891) was a British photographer and Royal Engineer who was commissioned to accompany and photographically document the Anglo-French military expedition to northern China during the Second Opium War in 1860. Papillon produced images taken from between Canton and the Taku Forts but became ill and was evacuated on 29 September 1860 before completing his mission.


  • Bennett, Terry. History of Photography in China, 1842-1860 (London: Bernard Quaritch Ltd., 2009). ISBN 978-0-9563012-0-8 (hbk), ISBN 0-9563012-0-7 (hbk)
  • Thiriez, Régine. Barbarian Lens: Western Photographers of the Qianlong Emperor's European Palaces (Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach, 1998), 6. ISBN 90-5700-519-0