Fine image of a Native Brazilian fortress, as described by Hans Staden and published in De Bry's travel accounts.
The image shows a prisoner, possibly Staden, being led and beaten. He is at the center of the village, which is surrounded by a high fence with emplaced skulls.
This engraving originally appeared in a work containing a description of Staden's two voyages made to Brazil, from 1546 to 1548 and from 1549 to 1555, and Jean de Léry's voyage to Brazil made from 1555 to 1558. De Bry included in this volume the account of Hans Staden, Wahrhaftige Historia ... in der Newenwelt America gelegen, Marburg, 1557, and Jean de Léry, Histoire d'un voyage fait en la terre du Brésil, La Rochelle, 1578, as well as two letters by Nicolas Barré dated 1552.
Hans Staden (c. 1525 – c. 1576) was a German soldier and explorer who voyaged to South America in the middle of the sixteenth century, where he was captured by the Tupinambá people of Brazil. He managed to survive and return safe to Europe. In his widely read account describing his travel and captivity, he claimed that the native people that held him captive practiced cannibalism.
Theodor de Bry (1528-1598) was a prominent Flemish engraver and publisher best known for his engravings of the New World. Born in Liege, de Bry hailed from the portion of Flanders then controlled by Spain. The de Brys were a family of jewelers and engravers, and young Theodor was trained in those artisanal trades.
As a Lutheran, however, his life and livelihood were threatened when the Spanish Inquisition cracked down on non-Catholics. De Bry was banished and his goods seized in 1570. He fled to Strasbourg, where he studied under the Huguenot engraver Etienne Delaune. He also traveled to Antwerp, London, and Frankfurt, where he settled with his family.
In 1590, de Bry began to publish his Les Grands Voyages, which would eventually stretch to thirty volumes released by de Bry and his two sons. The volumes contained not only important engraved images of the New World, the first many had seen of the geographic novelties, but also several important maps. He also published a collection focused on India Orientalis. Les Grands Voyages was published in German, Latin, French, and English, extending de Bry’s fame and his view of the New World.