This self-portrait, which the artist painted with the help of a mirror, is a highly accomplished work that shows Lamqua at the height of his career and talent. It demonstrates a masterly manipulation of paint, the use of a dramatic source of light, the well-defined texture of the fur robe and blue satin cuff, and an engaging gaze. This work shows Lamqua's full understanding of the technical and aesthetic qualities of Western art, especially the style of George Chinnery, the most renowned expatriate artist working in South China between 1825 and 1852. It was not surprising that Lamqua became a serious rival to George Chinnery.
This work is the most important piece of evidence regarding the age of Lamqua. It has an English inscription on the back of the picture frame which reads "Lamqua/ Aged 52/ Painted by himself/ Canton 1853" (There is also a Chinese inscription, but the date says "1854" - a discrepancy that awaits further research). It therefore dates Lamqua's year of birth to 1801/1802.