Balthazar Solvyns. A collection of two hundred and fifty coloured etchings descriptive of the manners, customs, character, dress, and religious ceremonies of the Hindoos.Calcutta, 1799.
Flemish artist François Balthazar Solvyns (1760-1824), who lived in Calcutta from 1791 to 1803, is little known, but his collection of etchings of the Hindus provide a rich and compelling portrait of India two hundred years ago. The etchings, by contemporary European standards, were rather crudely done, and they did not appeal to the vogue of the picturesque. The project failed commercially, victim of the unrest of the Napoleonic wars and to the sheer cost of the publication. When the Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1814, Solvyns returned to his native Antwerp, where William I appointed him Captain of the Port in recognition of his accomplishments as an artist.