Focus on Asian Art Books
BALTHAZAR SOLVYNS & THE EUROPEAN IMAGE OF INDIA 1760-1824
by ROBERT L. HARDGRAVE, Jr.
Austin, Texas, August 2003
Oxford University Press
Robert L. Hardgrave, Jr. is the Louann and Larry Temple Centennial Professor Emeritus in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin. A specialist in the domestic and international politics of South Asia, he taught at UT in the departments of Government and Asian Studies from 1967 until his retirement in 2001.
My fault that I have never heard about the Flemish artist François Balthazar Solvyns (1760-1824) who arrived in Calcutta in 1794 and lived there until 1803.
He painted oil paintings and made drawings and then etchings. He portrays figures of many different occupations over 100 years before the “Company School” paintings of the 19th century.
The book is very scholarly written, – I cannot read more than a few pages at a time -the book has many black/white and color prints and these alone are very entertaining and informative. I have to return the book to the UT library and will have to buy it soon soon because the price seems to be going up!