[Busso-Jun / The throwing the images of the Gods into the water]Bousso-Djeng
[published Paris, 1808]
Etching with hand-colouring, platemark approx 495 x 360mm (19½ x 14¼"). Uncut sheet; central fold as issued.
'The religious festivals of the Hindoos consist in worshipping the images of the gods, offering up sacrifices (poojahs) and spending the remainder of the day in entertainments, dances and other amusements...in that which we are now describing, after having carried the gods in procession during several days, they convey their images to the river; and place them on the edge of two boats drawn alongside each othert. There, their adoration is followed by the grossest invectives, and the most violent imprecations...to terminate this strange and inexplicable demeanour, the two boats are separated, and the images of the gods precipitated into the river amidst the acclamations of the multitude. 'The engraving represents this moment. In the foreground is a sideview of the boats and of the position of the gods as well as of the brahmuns, the musicians, and principal actors in the ceremony. In another distance the boats are represented in front to give an idea of their separation; on the right are the assistants and spectators. 'The principal figure is that of the goddess Calkee, wife of Shieb, the genius of evil' (from letterpress published with print). From the first 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: 33663] £320.00