British artist George Chinnery arrived in Macau 180 years ago and to celebrate the anniversary, Hong Kong will host the most significant exhibition of his works ever held in the city. With 180 paintings from HSBC, the Peabody Essex Museum in the US and a smattering of private collectors, the exhibition at the Museum of History will highlight the work of the extravagant Chinnery, who lived in Macau for 27 years. 'Back in the 1960s there was an exhibition in City Hall featuring the HSBC collection,' Museum of History chief curator Joseph Ting Sun-pao said. 'But in terms of scale, this is the largest. 'Of all the artists who came to the Far East, he stayed longest and was the most influential. The China Trade Paintings school flourished, influenced by the style of Chinnery, which was imitated by Chinese painters.' Chinnery worked in oils, watercolours and sketches, recording Macau long before the British came to Hong Kong. He came to Hong Kong for six months in 1846, but was ill and less than impressed with the early stages of the colony, returning to his beloved Macau. Chinnery made a living painting portraits of well-to-do figures. One of his Macau subjects was hong trading merchant Howqua. 'He was one of the richest people in the world,' Mr Ting said. 'He did lots of business with American traders and was supposed to be the most trustworthy hong merchant at the time.' The exhibition - Impressions of the East: The Art of George Chinnery - starts on Wednesday with a one-day seminar in the museum's lecture hall from 9am. The exhibition runs until August 29.