Why is This Man Smiling?

An American from Virginia, Wenceslaus Hollar, 1645

A portrait of a Native American man – perhaps known as Jacques – taken prisoner in 1644 by Western Europeans somewhere in an area now encompassing Virginia to New England, and shipped to Antwerp for “exhibit”. He died shortly after this portrait by Wenceslaus Hollar in 1645. Perhaps the amused, contented countenance of this man’s likely very sad spirit is artistic liberty by Hollar.

“Hollar’s Encyclopedic Eye: Prints from the Frank Raysor Collection” is a current exhibit of Wenceslaus Hollar’s amazingly detailed Baroque Period etchings at The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, until May 5, 2019.

Read more at https://www.vmfa.museum/exhibitions/exhibitions/hollars-encyclopedic-eye/#d8cVI90E8gwdUpTr.99

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