Portrait of the Hindus: Balthazar Solvyns & the European image of India, 1760-1824

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Oxford University Press in asociation with Mapin Pub., 2004 - Religion - 568 pages
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The Flemish artist Francois Balthazar Solvyns, 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. These remarkable prints, depicting the people of Bengal in their occupations, festivals, and daily life, and the accompanying descriptive text, are only available in rare book collections and have rarely been referred to by scholars of Indian culture and history. In Part I of this lavishly illustrated volume, Robert Hardgrave introduces Solvyn's life and work. Part II reproduces Solvyn's etchings and descriptions, with Hardgrave's detailed commentary. This book will make these invaluable images and writings generally available for the first time. It will be an important resource for those in South Asian studies and well as those interested in European artists in India and the European representation of the "other."

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About the author (2004)

Robert L. Hardgrave, Jr. is the Louann and Larry Temple Centennial Professor Emeritus in the Humanities, Departments of Government and Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a specialist in comparative politics, with an area focus on the domestic and international politics of South Asia. Working principally in India, he has conducted research on a wide range of topics, including ethnic/linguistic conflict, social movements, and politics and social change. In addition INDIA: GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS IN A DEVELOPING NATION, first published in 1970, his books include THE DRAVIDIAN MOVEMENT; THE NADARS OF TAMILNAD: THE POLITICAL CULTURE OF A COMMUNITY IN CHANGE; INDIA UNDER PRESSURE: PROSPECTS FOR POLITICAL STABILITY; AND ESSAYS IN THE POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY OF SOUTH INDIA. His most recent book, though not in political science, addresses his long interest in India: A PORTRAIT OF THE HINDUS: BALTHAZAR SOLVYNS & THE EUROPEAN IMAGE OF INDIA 1760-1824. Professor Hardgrave is senior policy adviser on South Asia for Political Risk Services, Inc., and has served as a consultant on South Asia for the U.S. Department of State.

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