Einwohner von der Insul madagascar (Inhabitants of the Island Madagascar), from Thesaurus Exoticorum: oder, Eine mit Außländischen Raritäten und Geschichten wohlversehene Schatz-Kammer (Exotic Thesaurus or A Treasury filled with Foreign Rarities and Stories)

Eberhard Werner Happel, 1647 - 1690



Woodcut on paper

Impression: 8 1/4 × 5 1/2 in. (21 × 14 cm)

Sheet: 9 × 6 1/4 in. (22.9 × 15.9 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College



Place Made: Germany, Europe



Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Einwohner von der Insul Madagascar


Cut from the same book as “Einwohner des Landes Biledulgerit oder Numidien,” this portrait depicts a man and woman in an ambiguous landscape. Though the costumes they wear differentiate them from Europeans, it is only from the label that we know the couple are inhabitants of Madagascar. In the case of most early attempts at ethnography, printmakers never encountered the foreign lands or cultures that they depicted. As a result, many records feature generic or heavily reproduced details, such as is the case of this barren backdrop which does not accurately depict Madagascar as a tropical island.

Written by Emma Troost, ’24

From the 2023 exhibition Faith and Empire: The Legacy of Conversion and Commerce in the Early Modern World, curated by students of ARTH 20.04, "Faith and Empire: Art in the Early Modern World" taught by Elizabeth Rice Mattison, Andrew W. Mellon Associate Curator of Academic Programming

Course History

ARTH 28.01, The Global Renaissance, Elizabeth Kassler-Taub, Fall 2021

Art History 20.04, Faith and Empire, Beth Mattison, Spring 2023

Exhibition History

Faith and Empire: The Legacy of Conversion and Commerce in the Early Modern World, Class of 1967 Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, August 12-December 23, 2023.


Source unknown; catalogued, 1913.

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