Samuel Davis was the first Western artist to paint in the Himalayas and the only Western artist of distinction to work in Bhutan. For an account of his work in Bhutan see M. Arris, Views of Medieval Bhutan, The Diary and Drawings of Samuel Davis, 1783, London, 1982.
The present drawings are early copies after Davis's originals, many of which are now in the Paul Mellon Center at Yale.
The inscriptions on the reverse of each drawing are thought to be copied from Davis's Journal, published in either The Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1830 pp. 491- 517, or The Oriental Annual, 1834-1840, iv, pp. 52-4 or 105-7.
Copies after Davis's drawings were also published as engravings by James Basire in Samuel Turner's An Account of an Embassy to the Court of the Teshoo Lama in Tibet, 1800, pls. 7, 1, 6 and 4.