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 right. Much information about the Khoikhoi is available from early European accounts, but few illustrations exist. The drawings in the collection were made in situ and, unlike most early European depictions of the Khoikhoi, were never filtered through the eyes of European engravers. 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 Netherlands when he visited the Cape. Evidence suggests that the drawings were made no later than 1713, and possibly a good deal earlier. Most of the drawings have annotations, in Dutch, made by another person, also unidentified, after 1730.
Type of Item
1 drawing : pen and black ink on paper ; 24 x 36 centimeters
- Reproduced as Plate 18 in The Khoikhoi at the Cape of Good Hope: Seventeenth-century drawings in the South African Library / text by Andrew B. Smith, from which this description is adapted. On verso of Sketches of Khoikhoi (INIL 6264); number 6264v of a set: INIL 6250-6264.
Last updated: July 2, 2015