[The Black Town at Calcutta]Ville Noire de Calcutta
[published Paris, 1811]
Etching with hand-colouring, platemark approx 490 x 355mm (19¼ x 13¾"). With letterpress description in French and English. Central fold as issued; uncut sheet.
'Each nation at Calcutta has its particular quarter; so we have the English quarter, the Portuguese quarter, etc... That which is inhabited by the natives, who, whether they are originally Hindoos or Mussulmans, differ from all the others by their complexion which is as dark as the Caffries, is called the Black Town. No European is to be seen there...' (from accompanying letterpress). The road shown here leads to Chitpore, and is Calcutta's oldest road. Workers saw wood in foreground. From the third volume of Balthazar Solvyns' 'Les Hindoūs'. Solvyns (1760-1824), a Flemish artist who lived in Calcutta from 1791 to 1803, etched a collection of 250 plates documenting various aspects of Calcutta life. The set was first published in Calcutta, where it proved a financial failure, and Solvyns produced another set which he published in Paris after returning to Europe, although again the venture was unsuccessful, probably in part due to its publication at the height of the Napoleonic Wars. Solvyns later returned to Antwerp, where William I appointed him Captain of the Port.
[Ref: 33644] £420.00