[published Paris, 1808]
Etching printed in colour with hand-colouring, platemark approx 360 x 250mm (14¼ x 9¾"). Uncut sheet.
'Menu gives the descent of Physicians from a Brahmun and a woman of the cast of Byces or Merchants. Their age in general gains them the credit of experience, which ensures to them great respect. They pursue a system of medicine traced out in the sacred writings, and from which they are not allowed to depart. As they are deprived too of instruction by the inspection of dead bodies, they are totally deficient in anatomical knowledge. 'The carved wood seen in the plate, and which is called bursah-caut, is placed in commemoration of the dead before the houses, in the bazars or markets, on the high roads, near the pagods, or on the stairs which lead to the river, where the greater number of them are to be seen, because there the Hindoos prefer to terminate their career' (from letterpress published with the 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: 33671] £360.00