Tchan-Jatrah.[Celebration of the Bath of Juggernaut]
[published Paris, 1808]
Etching with hand-colouring, platemark approx 495 x 360mm (19½ x 14¼"). Uncut sheet; central fold as issued.
'The Hindoos believe that the god Juggernaut transports himself, in one night, from his pagoda at Cattach, in Oorisah, to the spot where the ceremony of the bath is performed near Serampore, on the banks of the Ganges. Upon the day of his arrival, they wash and bathe him, and take great care to keep him warm on account of the fever which the cold has given him. After this he does not stir out until his return, which takes place after about three months, at the end of the rainy season...The representation of Juggernaut consists only of an head and part of the arms. To the unfinished form is attached the sublime idea, that it is not for man to represent the divinity under material forms, lowering as it were the dignity and omnipotence of the godhead by supposing it in human shape...Thousands of Hindoos contemplate with transport the Brahmun, who, several times a day, throws a vase of water from the Ganges on this unformed idol' (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: 33665] £350.00