Engraving of Spanish torturing natives in America - Bartolomé de Las Casas 1664 #1/2

$125.00 CAD

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17th century engraving showing Spanish soldiers burning one native alive and in the background cutting off the hands of others.


Page #15 from Bartolomé de Las Casas' book:

Den vermeerderden spieghel der Spaensche tierannije geschiet in Westindien...'

('The Mirror of Spanish Tyranny perpetrated in the West Indies...') 

Printed in Amsterdam by Gillis Iooften Saeghman in 1664. Plates based on earlier ones (1598) by Theodore de Bry.

Controversial person who influenced history up to this day. Canonized by the Church in 2000.

Spots, age browning/yellowing around edges.

18 x 14.5 cm


Bartolomé de las Casas (c. 1484 – 18 July 1566) was a 16th-century Spanish historian, social reformer and Dominican friar. He became the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed "Protector of the Indians". His extensive writings, the most famous being A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies and Historia de Las Indias, chronicle the first decades of colonization of the West Indies and focus particularly on the atrocities committed by the colonizers against the indigenous peoples.

Bartolomé de las Casas spent 50 years of his life actively fighting slavery and the violent colonial abuse of indigenous peoples, especially by trying to convince the Spanish court to adopt a more humane policy of colonization. And although he failed to save the indigenous peoples of the Western Indies, his efforts resulted in several improvements in the legal status of the natives, and in an increased colonial focus on the ethics of colonialism. Las Casas is often seen as one of the first advocates for universal human rights.