SOLVYNS, François Balthazar (Frans Balthazar Solvijns). Antwerpen 1760 — Antwerpen 10.10.1824. Belgian Artist in India. Son of Maximiliaan S., a merchant, and Maria Abeloos. “Showed genius at 12, drew sea-pieces. Patronized by the Arch-duchess Maria Christina till her death. Accompanied Sir Home Popham in a voyage  to the East. Made charts of the coasts of the Red Sea, visited India and thoroughly studied the country; present at the siege of Seringapatam. After 15 years of labour, in which he was assisted by Sir W. Jones, he returned home and brought out, ‘to delineate the people of Hindustan in all their customs and usages, both of their public and their private life,’ his great work … dedicated to the French Institute. Captain of the Port of Antwerp till his death.” Married with Mary Anne Greenwood, three children.
Publications: A Collection of Two Hundred and Fifty Coloured Etchings: Descriptive of the Manners, Customs and Dresses of the Hindoos. 239 col. pl. Calcutta 1796.
– A Catalogue of 250 Coloured Etchings; Descriptive of the Manners, Customs, Character, Dress, and Religious Ceremonies of the Hindoos. 28 p. Calcutta 1799.
– Les Hindous. 1-4. Paris 1808-12.
Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; *R. L. Hardgrave Jr., A Portrait of the Hindus: Balthazar Solvyns & the European Image of India 1760-1824. O.U.P. 2004; Wikipedia (autoportrait in French version).
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