On This Day

Cape Colony Founded

Jan van Riebeeck arrives in Table Bay
Jan van Riebeeck arrives in Table Bay

Historical Context

The first European settlement on the Cape of Good Hope occurred in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company led by Jan van Riebeeck. His arrival depicted here in a painting by Charles Bell (1813-1882).

In the beginning the Cape Colony was established as a re-supply point for the company's trade between the east and the Netherlands. In the years that followed a colony was established and the Dutch began to farm the surrounding area.

The Cape was already the territory of two local semi-nomadic peoples, the Khoikhoi and the San, but their rights to the land were denied and over time their traditional lifestyle was decimated by disease and conflict with the new settlers.

Painting Info

Artist: Charles Bell
Location painted: Table Bay, South Africa

Source: South Africa History Online

Related Events

  • 1652-04-06 Cape Colony, the 1st European settlement in South Africa, established by Dutch East India Company under Jan van Riebeeck

Historical Paintings