Item #4008115 Three sheets of coastal profiles of landfalls in the Atlantic. Henri de FREYCINET, UNKNOWN ARTIST.
Three sheets of coastal profiles of landfalls in the Atlantic.
Three sheets of coastal profiles of landfalls in the Atlantic.

Three sheets of coastal profiles…
Three sheets of coastal profiles of landfalls in the Atlantic.

On board ship: various dates between November 1820 & January 1821.

Nine ink and wash coastal views on three sheets of wove paper, the original captions in two different hands, respectively 18.8 x 22.9; 18.4 x 27.8; & 19.2 x 27.5 cm., the first sheet with "Fellows" watermark.

At sea with Henri de Freycinet

A collection of three sheets, each of which depicts three coastal views, taken in the Atlantic en route to the Indian Ocean. Executed in pen and wash, they comprise:-

A collection of three sheets, each of which depicts three coastal views, taken in the Atlantic en route to the Indian Ocean. Executed in pen and wash, they comprise:-

Sheet I: 22 November 1820. Ile Salvage; Ile Ténériffe; Grand canarie.

Sheet II: 8 December 1820. Ile de Sel; Ile de Bona Vista; Ile de Mai.

Sheet III: 1 January 1821. Les martin ray; Ile de la Trinité; Point du S. de la même.

Given the dates and the known provenance, it is clear that this small suite of coastal views derives from Henri de Freycinet's voyage from Rochefort to the Île Bourbon [Réunion] in the Indian Ocean, after his 1820 appointment as governor of the island, where he would replace another Baudin voyage veteran, Pierre Bernard Milius, in the post. Freycinet left Rochefort on the corvette Sapho on 12 November 1820, which date makes sense for it to have been off the remote Salvage Islands, Tenerife and then Grand Canary by later that month; to be at Cap-Vert off the African coast soon after; and to then have run to the Ile de la Trinité a little after.

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The brothers Henri and Louis were the great cartographers of the Baudin expedition (1800-1804). While Louis then made his own circumnavigation on the Uranie (1817-1820), his older brother Henri (1777-1840) had a long and impressive career as a naval officer, serving with distinction through the Napoleonic Wars and one of few to continue a substantial career under the Bourbon Restoration. His appointment to Réunion, where he arrived in February 1821, was followed in 1826 by promotion to the same position at French Guiana and then Martinique.

Freycinet would not have made these views himself: after the loss of his right hand in battle many years earlier he could write only clumsily; the various neat annotations here are in two distinct hands. We suggest that these would have been done for him by the junior officers sailing on the Sapho. The ability to take such views was part of the repertoire of naval officers in the great age of sail, since the coastal profiles thus recorded were important aids to future navigators in the same waters.

Provenance: From the Freycinet family archives at the Château d'Age; private collection (Sydney).

Annales Maritimes et Coloniales (1821); Dezos de la Roquette, Notices historiques sur MM. Henri et Louis de Freycinet (1843); SLNSW catalogue (online).

Condition Report: In fine original condition.

Ref: #4008115

Condition Report