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Crowd listening to recital and commentary on the Mahabharata, Calcutta, West Bengal. Coloured etching by François Balthazar Solvyns, 1799.
- Solvyns, Balt. (Balthazar), 1760-1824.
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[Calcutta] : [François Balthazar Solvyns], 
1 print : etching, with watercolour.
A mohabaurut-er-shoba ; an assembly to hear the text and comments on Mohabaurut - the reader sits on an elevated chair, decorated with flowers, ye salgram stone, &c, - in the morning he reads the text, wh
is very little attended, so few understanding the Sanscrit language; - but in the evening, when the explanation is in Bengalee, the meeting is very much
François Balthazar Solvyns, a Belgian artist, spent many years in Calcutta, producing drawings of the local people and their customs, showing different castes and street sellers. Solvyns employed local Indian artists to apply watercolour to his series "Manners, customs, and dresses of the Hindoos"
Travel in aquatint and lithography 1770-1860 from the library of J.R. Abbey, San Francisco 1991, vol. 2, 421.231
Manuscript lettering is almost identical to letterpress text in Edward Orme's later edition of this work, The costume of Hindostan, London 1804. Here the last sentence reads : "In the morning he reads the text, which is very little attended to, on account of very few understanding the Shanscrit language; but in the evening, when the explanation in the Bengalee language is delivered, together with the comments of the officiating priest, the meeting is exceedingly crowded." The plate in this latter work, however, shows a different image
Latter part of lettering is in ink manuscript
Bears number : section 12th ; no. 3
Wellcome Library no. 31376i