"Célèbre Navigateur Français" [Portrait of La Pérouse]. LA PEROUSE, MAGUE, engraver.

"Célèbre Navigateur Français" [Portrait of La Pérouse].
"Célèbre Navigateur Français" [Portrait of La Pérouse].

Paris: Blaisot, n.d., circa 1800.

Line engraving, 190 x110 mm. (plate size).

La Pérouse portrait

Fine portrait of the navigator published while his fate was still a mystery.

Fine portrait of the navigator published while his fate was still a mystery.

La Pérouse, inscribed "Célèbre Navigateur Français."

La Pérouse was born at Albi in 1741 and was commissioned in 1785 by Louis XVI to head an expedition to the Pacific Ocean. He was under instructions to investigate whaling and fur prospects, as well as the possibility of establishing French territorial claims in Australia. La Pérouse was the first French explorer to visit Hawaii, and later landed in Botany Bay just five days after the First Fleet arrived. After establishing a friendly rapport with the English officers, La Pérouse refitted his ships and sailed for the Solomon Islands, but was never heard from again.

In 1791, the French government commissioned d'Entrecasteaux to lead an expedition in search of La Pérouse, but failed to find any trace of his ships. It was not until 1827 that the charismatic Pacific trader Peter Dillon traced the wrecks expedition to Vanikoro in the Solomon Islands, after he was offered a sword that clearly belonged to a French officer, on the neighbouring Tikopia Island.

Nan Kivell & Spence, p. 171.

Price (AUD): $450.00  other currencies     Ref: #3007690

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