About the artwork
Voyage de découvertes aux Terres Australes, fait par ordre du gouvernement, sur les corvettes le Géographe, le Naturaliste et la goëlette le Casuarina, pendant les années 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 et 1804; historique.
Paris, (printed by Lebel for) Arthus Bertrand, 1824. 4 text volumes (8vo) and 1 atlas volume (folio). With lithographed portrait of François Péron; the atlas with engraved title-page and 68 (27 hand-coloured) lithographed plates, maps and charts, including a double-page map of Australia. Contemporary gold-tooled red half sheepskin.
Second and improved edition of the famous account of the French Baudin expedition to Australia in the years 1800-1804. The objective of the expedition, commanded by Captain Baudin, was to thoroughly examine the Australian south coast in order to find the strait that supposedly divided New Holland into two almost equal islands. Baudin, a sick man, was in no condition to command such a strenuous and ambitious voyage, and Péron, the naturalist of the expedition, bitterly criticized his conduct. Baudin surveyed the coast westward from Wilson's Promontory, met Mathew Flinders in Encounter Bay and sailed for Sydney where he stayed for six months. Here Baudin sent the ship Le Naturaliste to Europe, purchased the Casuarina and put Freycinet, the expedition's cartographer, in command of her. The expedition proceeded along the west coast, and sailed to Mauritius by way of Timor. Baudin died in Mauritius in 1803, and Freycinet left the Casuarina on the island and returned to France.
The present narrative, begun by Péron and finished by Freycinet, contains a valuable account of life in Sydney, as well as important descriptions of the natural history of the Australia's west coast, which destroyed the myth that this part of Australia was completely arid and desolate. The atlas includes two fine views of Sydney, a beautiful depiction of the platypus, fine portraits, as well as several excellent charts drawn by Freycinet. "The journals of the voyage are among the finest items of Australiana ever published" (Davidson). A very good set.
Ferguson 978 and 979; Davidson, pp. 108-110; Howgego, 1800 to 1850, B18, F32, and P21; Wantrup 82.