Native American in Body Paint
Hand-colored version of Theodor de Bry’s engraving of an American Indian man with a bow and arrow. De Bry’s engraving, “A Weroan or Great Lorde of Virginia,” was orginially published as an illustration in Thomas Hariot’s 1588 book A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia.
In the foreground, two Indian men stand facing each other, each holding a bow in his right hand and an arrow in his left. The men are bare-chested and each wears three feathers on his head, a necklace, and a fringed garment around his waist. A container holding arrows is worn at each man’s hips. In the background, several other men are aiming bows and arrows at a leaping deer.
Theodor de Bry was a Flemish-born engraver and publisher who based his illustrations for Hariot’s book on the New World paintings of colonist John White. These depictions of the landscapes and residents of North Carolina provided Europeans with some of their earliest notions of what the North American continent looked like. An unidentified artist applied the color to this version of de Bry’s engraving, apparently without having seen John White’s original watercolor painting, “Indian in Body Paint.”