Solvyns was born in Antwerp and sailed for India in 1790. Sometime in 1793, though possibly earlier, Solvyns began work on what was to become his life consuming project, a collection of etchings portraying the natives of India in their costumes, occupation and cultural life ... it was the most ambitious publishing venture yet taken in India. For sometime, Solvyns had wandered with his sketchbook, drawing Indians in their occupational pursuits, their festivals and the rich diversity of their cultural lives. He drew their musical instruments, their boats, their carts, and their modes of smoking. With genuine curiosity and a keenly observant and sympathetic eye, Solvyns recorded an India few Europeans really saw.
First published in 1804, this fine reprint edition with sixty beautiful colour-printed stripple engraved plates, ably capture the mysterious beauty of India and its natives.