Life in Seventeenth-Century Africa
Original Author: Father Giovanni Antonio Cavazzi da Montecuccolo
Created: Seventeenth century
Medium: Watercolor

Life in Seventeenth-Century Africa

A group of royal spectators watch a demonstration of technology as the king of Ndongo, in the foreground, forges weapons and utensils, while the African at left makes use of bellows. This watercolor was one of a series made by Father Giovanni Antonio Cavazzi da Montecuccolo, an Italian priest who served as a Capuchin missionary from 1654 to 1667 in an area of Africa that is now northern Angola; he returned to the region from 1672 to 1677, spending much of his time in the kingdom of Kongo. The priest’s eyewitness drawings are among the earliest representations of African life by a European.

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