Louis de Freycinet's corrected proof engraving of plate 95 of his voyage Atlas Historique (of 1826): "Port-Jackson: Vue de l'Eglise de Paramatta [and] Vue de la maison du Gouverneur à Parramatta".
Louis de Freycinet's corrected proof engraving of plate 95 of the Freycinet voyage's Atlas Historique (1826): "Port-Jackson: Vue de l'Eglise de Paramatta [and] Vue de la maison du Gouverneur à Parramatta".

Paris: for final publication in 1826.

Early proof plate before letters and before change in numbering from 94 to 95; manuscript draft captions and attributions in red ink, bold ink note regardng state of the print on one side; plate number corrected in ink.

Louis de Freycinet checking proof depictions of Parramatta, and a rare image of his wife

Freycinet's corrected proofs of two Parramatta views deriving from his 1819 visit to Sydney on the French world voyage of the Uranie. The corrections by Freycinet preparing for the 1826 publication of his official account of the voyage illustrate his very close involvement in the process: here he has changed the plate number, supplied captions in careful red ink capitals, and has written in a bold hand that he doesn't know whether a version of the engraving has yet been made with captions but he certainly hasn't seen such a proof. When finally published the caption-titles would be yet further expanded, the first one for example reading "Nouvelle-Hollande, Port Jackson, vue de l'eglise de Parramatta en 1819". For some reason the original artist is not identified, neither here nor when published:, the captions merely acknowledging that both images are based on a "dessin communiqué".

Freycinet's corrected proofs of two Parramatta views deriving from his 1819 visit to Sydney on the French world voyage of the Uranie. The corrections by Freycinet preparing for the 1826 publication of his official account of the voyage illustrate his very close involvement in the process: here he has changed the plate number, supplied captions in careful red ink capitals, and has written in a bold hand that he doesn't know whether a version of the engraving has yet been made with captions but he certainly hasn't seen such a proof. When finally published the caption-titles would be yet further expanded, the first one for example reading "Nouvelle-Hollande, Port Jackson, vue de l'eglise de Parramatta en 1819". For some reason the original artist is not identified, neither here nor when published:, the captions merely acknowledging that both images are based on a "dessin communiqué".

The two views depict Parramatta's architectural highlights in December 1819, St John's Cathedral and Government House. Although building of St John's had commenced under Hunter's governorship in 1797, it only reached the comparative grandeur depicted here shortly before the Freycinet visit when the facade, towers and spires were finished, meaning that this is one of the earliest depictions of the completed cathedral. Old Government House, as it is now known, was depicted a few times in the early period: there are some 1791 sketches by Governor Hunter, it was painted by Brambila on the visit of the Malaspina voyage in 1793, while Evans and Lycett painted watercolours.

The visit of the Freycinets was significant for both Freycinet and Macquarie. The inclusion in the Government House image of Rose de Freycinet alongside her husband as they are greeted by Macquarie - or his aide-de camp? - is one of very few such depictions: Rose's clandestine departure on the three-year voyage was never to be officially acknowledged and she is merely glimpsed in official narratives and images of the expedition, though her presence at such moments was to the great diplomatic benefit of the French voyagers.

Louis observed that "The Governor's residence… looks just like a private country house; it displays… the elegance that the English know so well how to create wherever they are. and which can also be observed in the adjoining garden and park, which are pleasantly laid out". Rose de Freycinet describes going for a walk with Elizabeth Macquarie in the garden, where "We met about 30 native children… educated… at Government expense". She described the "very agreeable air of simple elegance" at the Government Domain and recognised the skill that had gone into creating the gardens: "the situation of Government House at Parramatta lends itself naturally to the adornments that have been made: a crescent-shaped valley with a wide stream flowing at the bottom provides shelter and… views". (Shaping the Domain, Parramatta Park Trust, 2010).

Provenance: From the family of Louis de Freycinet.

Price (AUD): $12,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #4504620

Condition Report