Jeune Femme de la Tribu des Bou-rou-be-ron-gal avec son enfant sur les épaules. Nouvelle Hollande: Nlle. Galles du Sud. [Young woman of the Buruberongal tribe, with her child on her shoulders, New South Wales]…
Jeune Femme de la Tribu des Bou-rou-be-ron-gal avec son enfant sur les épaules. Nouvelle Hollande: Nlle. Galles du Sud. [Young woman of the Buruberongal tribe, with her child on her shoulders, New South Wales]

Paris: l'Imprimerie de Langlois, 1824.

Handcoloured engraved portrait, 342 x 254 mm.

The only publication of a beautiful Aboriginal portrait

The first published version of one of Nicolas-Martin Petit's finest Aboriginal portraits from the visit of the Baudin voyage to Sydney, depicting a young mother and child of the Western Sydney Basin, probably from the area of modern Richmond (though the Buruberongal language group existed as far north as Kempsey). Jacinta Tobin has noted that "A lot of our wording is onomatopoeic, like mimicking the sound of a bird or an animal found on that country. The Dharug word for kangaroo, buru, is the sound the kangaroo makes when it jumps, so my clan the Buruberongal, were the gal (people) belonging to (beron) the kangaroo (buru)"

The first published version of one of Nicolas-Martin Petit's finest Aboriginal portraits from the visit of the Baudin voyage to Sydney, depicting a young mother and child of the Western Sydney Basin, probably from the area of modern Richmond (though the Buruberongal language group existed as far north as Kempsey). Jacinta Tobin has noted that "A lot of our wording is onomatopoeic, like mimicking the sound of a bird or an animal found on that country. The Dharug word for kangaroo, buru, is the sound the kangaroo makes when it jumps, so my clan the Buruberongal, were the gal (people) belonging to (beron) the kangaroo (buru)"

During the Baudin voyage the French stayed in Port Jackson for some five months, ample time for the artists to become very involved with the local aboriginal populace, and indeed the Baudin voyage account is well-known for the beautiful suite of portraits engraved after originals by Petit. This wonderful image was prepared only for the scarce second edition of the official account of the voyage. The first edition of the voyage publication had appeared a decade earlier, and in 1824 the new version, heavily revised by Louis de Freycinet, was published with the addition of 23 new plates, nine of them like the present example prepared in colour. These newly prepared coloured plates are very desirable but only occasionally seen separately. Just four of them, three of which were prepared in colour, were portraits of Australian Aborigines.

The original drawing for this portrait survives in the Le Havre museum where much of Petit's work is held. It is interesting to note that the drawing has various manuscript notes regarding how it is to be engraved, by Péron, Lesueur and Milbert. Péron died in 1809, but the engraving would not appear, as noted above, until 1824.

See Bonnemains, Forsyth & Smith, 20036.2.

Price (AUD): $2,100.00

US$1,547.26   Other currencies

Ref: #4505231