Vierge du Soleil.VI.
Hand-coloured stipple. Plate 247 x 203mm. 9¾ x 8".
From 'Voyage au Pérou, fait dans les années 1790 à 1794'. A collection of costume plates from Peru and Chile, from reports by Narciso Girbal Barcelo, who explored the Marañon and Ucayali rivers in 1791, and Manuel Sobreviela, who explored the Huallaga River from 1787 to 1790; numbered II to XIII. Here a chosen woman or virgin of the sun. They were women who lived in temple convents under a vow of chastity. Their duties included the preparation of ritual food, the maintenance of a sacred fire, and the weaving of garments for the emperor and for ritual use. The virgins were not of noble birth but were village girls selected by officials for this beauty and talent. Some became sacrificial victims, whereas other were sometimes made imperial concubines or the wives of nobles.
[Ref: 23571] £140.00