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Khoikhoi woman with her child


Khoikhoi woman with her child

Vingboons, Johannes

Title on object: Een Hottentottine met haer Kind

The watercolour shows a Khoikhoi woman carrying her child on her back. In her right hand a pot with handle, in her left hand some small plants and a stick.

Part of a series of four remarkably early ethnographic depictions (Carte di Castello 79 through 82.) No other copies of this series or source images are known to exist. It has been suggested that Zacharias Wagenaer, who is known to have made ethnographic images in South America before becoming governor of the Cape in 1662, might possibly have provided the source material. Andries Beeckman, who spent time at the Cape in 1657, also made drawings of its indigenous inhabitants.

Part of the Carte di Castello, collected by Cosimo de Medici III in 1667 and 1669 during his tours through Europe. Cosimo III bought the 66 watercolours by Vingboons in December 1667 in Amsterdam, through mediation of Pieter Blaeu.

Please contact Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana for reuse and copyrights.

Sources and literature

Corbellini, Sabrina and Cattaneo, Angelo, The Global Eye: Dutch Spanish and Portugese maps in the collections of the Grand Duke Cosimo III de' Medici (2019)