Routh-Jatrah.[Procession of the Gods in their Car]
[published Paris, 1808]
Etching printed in colour with hand-colouring, platemark approx 495 x 360mm (19½ x 14¼"). Uncut sheet; central fold as issued.
'This festival, one of the most solemn among the Hindoos, is celebrated once every year in the month of assar, which answers to our month of june. The object is to celebrate the travels of Kistna with Radica; and it consists in dragging with great pomp, the god, his mistress, and his companions, in a sort of edifice or pagoda constructed in wood, and adorned with tolerable sculpture. These relievos, and its hieroglyphic paintings are too obscene to admit of representation. With this exception the engraving gives an exact idea of this species of building, which is called Routh. Two horses of wood painted blue appear to draw, and a Brahmun to guide, it, while the machine placed upon a number of small, but very solid wheels, is moved in reality by two cords which are grasped by the most zealous among the thousands of attendants of both sexes and of every age and sect' (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: 33668] £320.00