Atlas of plates: "Atlas pour servir à la Relation du Voyage à la Recherche de La Pérouse" Jacques Julien Houtou de LABILLARDIERE.
Atlas of plates: "Atlas pour servir à la Relation du Voyage à la Recherche de La Pérouse".
Atlas of plates: "Atlas pour servir à la Relation du Voyage à la Recherche de La Pérouse".

Atlas of plates for the "Rélation du Voyage à la Recherche de La Pérouse"…
Atlas of plates: "Atlas pour servir à la Relation du Voyage à la Recherche de La Pérouse".

Paris: Dabo, Libraire, 1817.

Folio atlas with engraved title and 44 engraved maps and plates; contemporary quarter dark brown morocco and marbled sides.

The splendid natural history and ethnographic atlas

The 1817 reissue of the Labillardière atlas, from the same printing as the first edition of 1800 but with a new title-page. Published without text volumes, it may well have been produced to accompany text volumes that remained in print from the earlier edition. It offers a chance to acquire the three fine bird studies by Audibert, and fourteen superb botanical engravings all by or produced under the direction of Redouté, including a very fine Banksia and a wonderful flowering eucalyptus. There are splendid portraits of natives of Tasmania, Tonga, New Caledonia, and New Guinea, along with a series of engravings of native artefacts, and outstanding views of these areas by the official artist Piron. Included too is the famous engraving of the black swan, the first large depiction of the exotic Australian bird.

The 1817 reissue of the Labillardière atlas, from the same printing as the first edition of 1800 but with a new title-page. Published without text volumes, it may well have been produced to accompany text volumes that remained in print from the earlier edition. It offers a chance to acquire the three fine bird studies by Audibert, and fourteen superb botanical engravings all by or produced under the direction of Redouté, including a very fine Banksia and a wonderful flowering eucalyptus. There are splendid portraits of natives of Tasmania, Tonga, New Caledonia, and New Guinea, along with a series of engravings of native artefacts, and outstanding views of these areas by the official artist Piron. Included too is the famous engraving of the black swan, the first large depiction of the exotic Australian bird.

Bernard Smith has written (European Vision and the South Pacific, 2nd edn, 1817, pp. 149-152) about the images in the atlas, and particularly the portraits which with "no sentiment, no sensuousness, no sense of luxury, no aura of soft primitivism clinging about the dry, wiry natives" derive rather from the school of "heroic stoicism" of Jacques Louis David. Smith notes that Piron, the official artist of the voyage, instead models his portraits on the classical ideal and his portraits are more than simply reminiscent of such classical icons as the Venus de Medici, and the Polykleitos depictions of Doryphoros and the Wounded Amazon.

The publication is noted (without particular comment) by the McLaren bibliography and recorded by Ferguson from copies in the Mitchell Library and the Tasmanian parliamentary library.

Ferguson, 682; Kroepelien, 697; McLaren, Lapérouse in the Pacific, 67; not in the catalogue of the Hill collection.

Price (AUD): $11,250.00  other currencies Ref: #4504932

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