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 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. The annotations on some of the drawings, in Dutch, were made by someone else after 1730.

Date Created

Subject Date

Additional Subjects

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 drawing : pen and black ink on paper ; 32 x 21 centimeters


  • Reproduced as Plate 21 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 Landscape and notes on shading and perspective (INIL 6262); number 6262v of a set: INIL 6250-6264.

Last updated: July 2, 2015