114 results in English
View of Saint Thomas in America with the Citadel Fort Christian
This colored drawing by an anonymous artist is a view of the Danish settlement on the island of Saint Thomas (present-day U.S. Virgin Islands) as it appeared in the 18th century. The settlement was established in 1672 by the Danish West India Company. Denmark claimed the nearby island of Saint John in 1683 and purchased the island of Saint Croix from France in 1733. The three islands became a Danish royal colony in 1754. The colony prospered as the import of slaves made possible a profitable plantation economy, and ...
Khoikhoi Fording a Stream
This view of a Khoi woman and child fording a stream with a Khoi man behind them is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The Khoikhoi were pastoralists who were derived from the aboriginal hunting population of southern Africa, the San. After establishment of the Dutch colony at Table Bay in 1652, the Khoikhoi were ...
Lion
This depiction of what is probably a lion and a small antelope is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The artist most likely was a Dutchman, born in the 17th century, who was attached in some capacity to the Dutch East India Company and possibly en route to the Dutch East Indies or on his ...
Khoikhoi in a Storm
This view of a group of Khoi people in a storm is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The drawing shows the traditional dress of the Khoi women: peaked hat, kaross (sheepskin cloak) across the shoulders, a small apron or fuller skin kaross around the waist, and leggings of dried raw-hide. The text on the ...
African Ox and Khoi Couple
These two sketches depicting an African ox and a Khoi couple are from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The annotations provide details about African cattle and about the differing dress worn by Khoi men and women. The cattle owned by the Khoikhoi were of the Sanga breeds, which resulted from the interbreeding of the indigenous ...
Harvesting Scene
This view of a harvesting scene is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The drawing shows a farming scene with the stacking of hayricks from ox wagons, with a Khoi matjieshuis (mat house) in the foreground and a farmhouse at the back. The Khoi are asking for tobacco from a colonist who is smoking as ...
Khoikhoi Yoking Oxen, and Other Sketches
These sketches are from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. Various activities are depicted in these vignettes: at the top, a Khoi man holding oxen while a colonist adjusts the yoke; in the middle, a woman milking a cow into a large ceramic pot; at bottom left, men dealing with a recalcitrant sheep; and at bottom ...
Khoi Women and Dutch Colonist
This view of a group of Khoi women in various costumes and poses, with a woman colonist holding a container, is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The annotations describe Khoi dress and ornamentation, explaining that Khoi women wear several strings of beads around the neck, with copper beads the most favored. The note remarks ...
Khoi Women
These sketches of Khoi women engaged in various activities are from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The Khoikhoi were pastoralists who were derived from the aboriginal hunting population of southern Africa, the San. After establishment of the Dutch colony at Table Bay in 1652, the Khoikhoi were subjugated in wars with the Dutch in 1659 ...
Khoi Women Dancing
These depictions of Khoi women are from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. In these drawings, the artist has caught the movement of the bodies, clothing, and beads. The annotation, in Dutch, refers to “five dancing Hottentot women,” the latter being the historic name given to the Khoikhoi at the time of white settlement, and now ...
Khoikhoi Drinking from Kaross
These two sketches are from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. On the left, Khoikhoi are being given a drink by a colonist, a kaross (a cape or blanket made from skins) serving as the receptacle into which it is poured. The right-hand drawing shows the sequel, with a man drinking from the kaross. The notes ...
Sketches of Khoikhoi
These two sketches are from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The sketch on the left depicts an older woman with a walking stick and poorly kept leggings; the sketch on the right depicts an elegantly dressed younger woman. The text, in Dutch, reads: “When the Hottentots are newly born their noses are pushed in, and ...
White Horsemen; Lion Hunt
These sketches are from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The top sketch shows armed colonists on horseback; the correction to the drawing suggests that there was only one acceptable way to carry a musket. The bottom sketch shows a trap set to catch a lion, which is being fired at from the undergrowth on the ...
Khoi Family
This sketch of a Khoi couple and child seen from behind is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The woman wears a pointed skin cap, large earrings, double kaross (a blanket or cape made of skins), and skin leggings. The man has ornaments in his hair, a skin bag as well as the roll sack ...
Khoi Groups
These two sketches are from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The drawings give details of Khoi activities and dress. The annotations, in Dutch, refer to the tobacco bag hanging on the back of the individual on the left of the left-hand sketch; to the ox-hide shoes fastened with leather thongs worn by the person shown ...
Lion Hunt
These vivid sketches of a lion hunt are from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The note, in Dutch, at the upper right states: “The lions cause these people much loss in cattle, but they combat them bravely.” The longer note on the left concerns relations between the Khoi, who by this time lived a semi-settled ...
Khoi Dancers and Musical Instruments
This series of sketches is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The sketches show Khoi activities, including facial painting, drumming, and dancing. The annotations, in Dutch, provide details of the designs used in face painting and of the different drums played by men and women. The right side of the sheet is devoted to dancing ...
Khoi Arrows; Sketches of Farm Servants
These sketches are from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. Shown here are weapons used by the Khoi. The accompanying text, in Dutch, remarks on the smoothness and sharpness of the arrows and indicates the varieties of wood used by the Khoi to make the bows. Also shown is an assegai, a long spear that is ...
Khoikhoi Milking
This sketch is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The drawing shows Khoi men and women milking large African cattle. Milk was a main means of sustenance for the Khoi, and African herders developed special techniques to make a recalcitrant cow produce milk, even if her calf had died. The note, in Dutch, describes these ...
Khoikhoi with Cattle
This sketch is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The drawing at the top shows a Khoi family traveling with their domestic animals. The annotations note the walking stick carried by the man and the rings made of elephant tusks around his arms, designed to parry blows by enemies. In a reference to a known ...
Cape Vultures
These sketches of Gyps coprotheres (Cape vultures) are from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The note, in Dutch, explains: “These birds are called ‘strontvogels’ [excrement birds] by the Hottentots, but African eagles by the Dutch. Wherever they find a beast, be it small or large, that has died or has been shot, there they are ...
Notes on Architectural Perspective
These elementary architectural sketches with extensive notes are from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi people, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The artist most likely was a Dutchman, born in the 17th century, who was attached in some capacity to the Dutch East India Company and possibly en route to the Dutch East Indies or on his way back to the ...
Settlement in the East Indies
This sketch is from a collection of 27 drawings on 15 sheets in the National Library of South Africa presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi people, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The drawing shows a Dutch East Indies country scene with tropical flora, simple human dwellings, and a solitary figure in the foreground. The artist who made the drawings in this collection has not been identified. He most likely was a Dutchman, born in the 17th century, who was attached in some capacity to the Dutch ...
Landscape and Notes on Shading and Perspective
This sketch showing a landscape with mountains, farm buildings, and a European man is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi people, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The artist most likely was a Dutchman, born in the 17th century, who was attached in some capacity to the Dutch East India Company and possibly en route to the Dutch East Indies or ...
Settlement in the East Indies
This sketch is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in the National Library of South Africa in 1986. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The sketch depicts a Dutch settlement in the East Indies, showing a street with buildings and trees. A similar drawing depicting the same structures in the Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam has been ascribed to Cornelis de Bruyn (circa 1652–circa 1727). This drawing in pencil is the ...
Sumatran Muntjac
This depiction of what is probably Muntiacus muntjak muntjak or Muntiacus muntjak montanus (the Sumatran muntjac) is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in 1986 in the National Library of South Africa. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi people, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The artist most likely was a Dutchman, born in the 17th century, who was attached in some capacity to the Dutch East India Company and possibly en route to the Dutch ...
Malaysian Tapir
This depiction of Tapirus indicus (the Malaysian or Asian tapir) is from a set of 27 drawings on 15 sheets that was discovered in 1986 in the National Library of South Africa. The drawings are important for presenting the earliest realistic depictions of the Khoikhoi people, the original inhabitants of the Western Cape. The artist has not been identified. He most likely was a Dutchman, born in the 17th century, who was attached in some capacity to the Dutch East India Company and possibly en route to the Dutch East ...
Map of the Colonies of Suriname and Berbice
This 18th-century map shows the Dutch plantations in Suriname and Berbice. The map is oriented with the north at the bottom. The names ascribed to locations outside the neatly demarcated plantations suggest resistance to Dutch domination by local Indians, indentured servants, and slaves imported from Africa. They include several places marked “rebel villages,” “village of runaways,” and “village of rebel slaves.” The inset map in the upper right gives a detailed view of Paramaribo, the chief city and port of Suriname.  The numbered key lists the main streets, along with ...
Guiana and Caribana
This map of part of the northern coast of South America is a Dutch version of a map originally produced around 1650 by Nicolas Sanson (1600–1667), royal geographer to Kings Louis XIII and XIV, and commonly known as the father of French cartography. Numerous editions copied from Sanson were printed in the early 18th century. The map covers the region from the island of Trinidad and the mouth of the Orinoco River in the west to the mouth of the Amazon River in the southeast. Sanson divides this area ...
Gospel of Saint Mark
This manuscript copy of the Gospel of Saint Mark can be dated to the 18th century. The text is copied clearly and enclosed in a double-lined frame in red. The folios are numbered with Coptic numerals. The manuscript has many marginal notes and Old Testament references in Arabic, with Coptic numerals employed for chapter and verse citations. The marginalia may have been added by Wadi’ Muftah, whose name appears on the front endpapers. The text is complete and is in excellent condition. The binding is brown leather over boards with ...
Gospel of Saint Luke
This manuscript of the Gospel of Saint Luke can be dated to the 18th century. The text is written clearly and enclosed in a double-lined frame in red. The folios are numbered with Coptic numerals. The manuscript has many marginal notes and Old Testament references in Arabic, with Coptic numerals employed for chapter and verse citations. The marginalia may have been added by Wadi’ Muftah, whose name appears on the front endpapers. The text is complete and is in excellent condition, although the last page is copied in a different ...
Gospel of Saint John
This Arabic manuscript of the Gospel of Saint John dates from the 18th century. The text is written clearly and enclosed in a double-lined frame in red. The folios are numbered with Coptic numerals. The manuscript has many marginal notes and Old Testament references in Arabic, with Coptic numerals employed for chapter and verse citations. The marginalia may have been added by Wadi’ Muftah, whose name appears on the front endpapers. The text is complete and is in excellent condition, although the last page is copied in a different hand ...
Album Number 14: Drawings and Sketches by Students of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Monastery Workshop
The collection of kuzhbushki (a corrupt form of the German, Kunstbuch, meaning “book of art”) held by the V.I. Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine contains albums of drawings by teachers and students at the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Monastery icon-painting workshop. Also included in the collection are albums containing examples of West European engravings from the 16th–18th centuries. The Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Monastery workshop was one of the oldest art schools in Eastern Europe. Among the drawings in this album are portraits of prominent church and political figures, sketches on religious ...
Greece: According to New Observations by the Gentlemen at the Royal Science Academy
Pieter van der Aa (1659−1733) was a Dutch publisher and bookseller, based in Leiden, who specialized in reissuing maps acquired from earlier mapmakers. Van der Aa’s major work was the elaborate Galerie Agréable du Monde (The pleasurable gallery of the world), a compendium of some 3,000 maps in 66 parts, bound in 27 volumes, and completed in 1729. Presented here is van der Aa’s map of Greece, which in the early 18th century was part of the Ottoman Empire. Shown are the Greek mainland, the islands ...
Course of the São Francisco River and the Navigation Along It from São Paulo to the Pitangui Mines
This early-18th century manuscript map shows the São Francisco River in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state. In this period, the Portuguese sent numerous expeditions up the São Francisco and its tributaries in search of gold, silver, and diamonds.
Map of the Northern Realms Including the Kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden, Norway
This map of the kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden is by the French cartographer Guillaume de L'Isle (1675-1726). The son of a geographer, de L’Isle began working in the field of cartography at a young age. In addition to learning from his father, he studied mathematics and astronomy with the Italian astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625-1712). This training led de L’Isle to produce scientifically accurate maps. In 1718, he became the official geographer to the king. De L’Isle’s maps continued the trend in French ...
Map of the Bay of Benguela and the Cantonbelle River
This map of the Bay of Benguela, on the coast of present-day Angola, is by the French cartographer Jacques-Nicolas Bellin (1703-72). Trained as a hydrographer, Bellin was attached to the French Marine Office and specialized in producing maritime maps showing coastlines. In 1764, he published Le Petit Atlas Maritime (Small maritime atlas), a work in five volumes containing 581 maps. Bellin’s maps were in the tradition of Sanson and de L’Isle, and placed great emphasis on scientific accuracy rather than on artistic beauty for its own sake.
Brussels, Important City in the Netherlands, Capital of the Duchy of Brabant
This late-18th century French map shows Brussels, at that time an important city in the Spanish Netherlands and the capital of the Duchy of Brabant. The map shows the borders of the city and the Senne River. The location of the city on the river made it an important commercial center for trade between France and the Germanic states. In 1695, Brussels was attacked by the army of Louis XIV, and suffered heavy damage. It remained under siege off and on until it was captured by the French in 1746 ...
Curiosity Abated by Wonders of Old Related
This manuscript, Mushtaha al-‘Uqul fi Muntaha al-Nuqul (Curiosity abated by wonders of old related), is a list of extraordinary facts, or marvels, compiled by al-Suyuti (1445−1505), one of the most prolific Muslim authors of late medieval times. The facts concern religion and history. The first entries cover the wondrous size and power of angels. These are followed by entries on such disparate topics as a census of Baghdad, the size and expense of the Umayyad army, the feats of learning and preaching of early Muslim scholars, and short ...
New Map Showing the Spanish and Portuguese Explorations with Observations of the Most Ingenious Geographers of Spain and Portugal
This map, showing the southwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula, was published in Amsterdam by François Halma (1653-1722), a Dutch bookseller and publisher who started a business in Utrecht, later moved to Amsterdam, and finally settled in Leeuwarden. In addition to publishing maps, Halma produced one of the earliest Dutch-French dictionaries.
Wall Hanging
This découpage panel in the shape of a closed altar piece includes a central roundel decorated with interlacing letters whose stems form a central six-pointed star. The round inscription is difficult to decipher, and may comprise a wise saying or a verse from the Qur'an. In the middle of the upper arch, a round hook suggests that it was used as a wall hanging. The extractive technique of découpage is known in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish as qit'a, or literally "cutting out," and artists specializing in this ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Mihrab Découpage Panel
This piece of white paper has been carefully cut out to produce an elaborate image of interlacing vines and flowers. In the central panel, two columns border the right and left vertical frame and appear to hold an almost baroque arch in which hangs a lamp. This motif may be identified as a mihrab, or the prayer niche in the qibla wall of a mosque (i.e., the wall facing Mecca), illuminated by a hanging mosque lamp. Above the mihrab, a rectangular frame contains the words Allah, Muhammad (peace and ...
Contributed by Library of Congress