Charles Davidson Bell
The artist here is not given, but is probably the work of one of the Herschels many friends and acquaintances in South Africa, or possibly even by one of the Herschels themselves. This drawing forms part of a substantial collection of prints and drawings collected by the Herschel family during their time in South Africa. Included among this collection are a number of images of different ethnic groups as they were seen and understood by European colonialists. Whereas many of the family's South African pictures appear to me making overt political statements - portraying particular ethnic groups as displaying specific stereotypical characteristics - this drawing is arguably closer to some of the family's later sketches of Italian peasants in its treatment of 'folklorique' characters.
Credit Line: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Herschel Collection
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