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AMH 2070: The History of Florida: Lemoyne and De Bry Illustrations

Resources from FSCJ Libraries and other online links for Florida History classes.

The Devil in the Details: What are Brazilian war clubs and Pacific seashells doing in 400 year old engravings of Florida Indians?

Milanich, Jerald T. “The Devil in the Details.” Archaeology, vol. 58, no. 3, May 2005, pp. 26–31. EBSCOhost

Great article that investigates the presence of Brazilian war clubs and Pacific seashells in 400-year-old engravings of Timucua Indians in Florida. Report that Theodor de Bry began publishing illustrated books on the Americas in 1590; Report that de Bry engraved 23 images based on paintings by English colonist John White; Publishing of "A Brief Narration Of Those Things Which Befell The French In The Province Of Florida In America," by de Bry, featuring engravings based on watercolor paintings by Jacques le Moyne de Morgues; Reference to the book "The New World," by Stefan Lorant; Depictions of the Timucua Indians in the engravings; Sources that document le Moyne's paintings and text, including "A Notable Historie Containing Foure voyages Made by Certaine French Captaynes unto Florida," by Richard Hakluyt; Comparison of scenes of the Florida Timucua with scenes of Brazilian Indians; Report that de Bry borrowed scenes from Brazilian sketches; Question of whether le Moyne actually did any paintings of Florida Indians; Reference to the book "A Foothold in Florida," by W. John Faupel. 

Images from the article can be seen here on this website.

 

Note: this article appears in many different places. You can access it through the link above at the library.

You can access an abstract of it at Archaeology Magazine: https://archive.archaeology.org/0505/abstracts/florida.html

You can access a scanned partial copy at University of Florida here.

You can also read a version of this article in the book Handfuls of History: Stories About Florida's Past by Jerald T. Milanich. http://union.discover.flvc.org/permalink.jsp?00SO002737015

 

A modern painting of a Timucuan chief draws on de Bry engravings like one showing Florida Indians armed with Brazilian clubs and marching European style

Courtesy Theodore Morris. Click on image above for link to original article.

Real artifacts, like these metal disks, were seen as confirming de Bry's accuracy.

Courtesy Florida Museum of Natural History. Click on image above for link to original article.

Andre Thevet

De Bry may have borrowed from earlier engravings of cannibals by Andre Thevet and Hans Staden in creating his own engraving of Florida Indians cooking. De Bry seems to have kept the fire tender with the fan from Staden's work but changed the human body parts to animal carcasses.

Andre Thevet's depiction. https://alchetron.com/André-Thévet

Little in this de Bry engraving is accurate: not the palisade, houses, nor nautilus shell cup.

Little in this de Bry engraving is accurate: not the palisade, houses, nor nautilus shell cup.

Lemoyne's Alligator

Courtesy of the Florida Memory Project. Click on image above for more information.

It is difficult to believe that Jacques le Moyne, who painted this detailed natural-history scene, also did a painting that was a source for this de Bry engraving showing dragon-like alligators with ears.

De Bry's Timucuan Man

Courtesy of the Florida Memory Project. Click on the image above or here for more information

De Bry’s engraving of Timucuan women

Courtesy of the Florida Memory Project. Click on image above or here for more information.

Detail of de Bry's depiction of Timucuan women.

Hans Staden

Hans Staden's “Execution of a Prisoner Stuck in Mussurana.” Original woodcut, 1557.

De Bry may have borrowed from earlier engravings of cannibals by Andre Thevet and Hans Staden in creating his own engraving of Florida Indians cooking. De Bry seems to have kept the fire tender with the fan from Staden's work but changed the human body parts to animal carcasses.

 

De Bry’s application of the same scene above

Drying meat, fish, and other food. The smoked meat would be preserved and could be eaten later. Plate XXIV. Click on image above or here for more detail.
Photo credit: The Florida Center for Instructional Technology, University of South Florida

Portrait of De Bry

Portrait of the Flemish engraver de Bry, whose inaccurate depictions of Florida Indians have misled archaeologists.

Southeastern Indian shell cups were made using whelks.

John White's Timucuan Man

[Indian Man] Of Florida. Watercolor drawing by John White, c. 1586-1588, copy after Jacques Le Moyne, 268 by 137 mm. British Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings, 1906-5-9-1(22).  Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum

John White’s Watercolor painting of a Timucun woman

1585 John White (English artist, c 1540-1593) Indian Woman of Florida. Click on image above or here for more information.