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Vue de l'entree du Port Jackson (View of the Entrance to Port Jackson)

Date: 1833
Overall: 215 x 364 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Lithograph
Object No: 00000848
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    View of the entrance to Port Jackson (New South Wales) from the foot of the lighthouse on the edge of the Outer South Head (Macquarie Lighthouse). The view is towards the north across The Gap and clearly shows the flagstaff erected on Signal Hill, approximately 350 yards to the north of the lighthouse. A brig is depicted in the middle distance, entering Port Jackson between the Heads.

    Two of the three figures - uniformed, in yellow pantaloons - may be junior officers (élèves) from the ASTROLABE (French explorer Dumont d’Urville visited Sydney in 1826), while the third figure may be a Royal Navy warrant officer based in Sydney accompanying them as a guide and interpreter; perhaps also with tacit instructions to 'mind' the 'young gentlemen' and keep an eye on their movements!

    SignificanceThis lithograph was based on the original sketches by Louis de Sainson during the visit of the ASTROLABE to Sydney (Port Jackson) in December 1826; this was during the ASTROLABE's first Pacific voyage under the command of Captain Jules Dumont d'Urville, 1826-1829. The ASTROLABE visited Sydney for several weeks before heading to New Zealand in search of the missing La Perouse expedition.

    HistoryCaptain Jules Dumont d'Urville was a French naval officer who commanded two voyages of discovery to the Pacific Ocean and to Antarctica during the Bourbon Restoration (1815-1830) and July Monarchy (1830 - 1848)

    At an early stage of his naval career Dumont d'Urville participated in a hydrographic survey of the Aegean Sea during which he was instrumental in the recovery for the Musee de Louvre of the 'Venus de Milo'; he later served with distinction as second-in-command to Captain Louis Duperrey during a circumnavigation in the corvette LA COQUILLE (1822 - 1825)

    Due to the success of that voyage, the French Minister for the Navy commissioned another voyage in LA COQUILLE, which was refitted and renamed L'ASTROLABE in recognition of the fact that one of the voyage's objectives was to discover the fate of La Perouse's two ships (L'ASTROLABE and LA BOUSSOLE) which had disappeared without trace in 1788.

    Dumont d'Urville was given command and set off in the renamed corvette in 1826; this first voyage in L'ASTROLABE lasted nearly 3 years (to 1829) and, following reports by the Anglo-Irish sandalwood trader Peter Dillon, succeeded in finding the wreck of La Perouse's ASTROLABE and evidence of a survivors' camp on Vanikoro Island; however, by then none of La Perouse's crews were alive to tell of their fate after shipwreck. Dumont d'Urville erected a monument to La Perouse at Vanikoro before starting the return journey to France. He arrived in Marseilles in February 1829 carrying anchors, chains and guns collected from the wreck site.

    On its second Pacific voyage, which included a visit to Anarctica and also lasted almost three years (1837-1840) L'ASTROLABE was accompanied by the corvette LA ZELEE, commanded by Dumont d'Urville's former second-in-command in L'ASTROLABE Lieutenant Jacquinot.

    The findings of both voyages were published in Paris accompanied by atlases containing a wide variety of detailed illustrations, ranging from drawings of collected specimens of natural history and coastal views to portraits of exotic peoples encountered during the voyages.

    Dumont d'Urville gained fame for his role in unravelling the disappearance of La Perouse, one of the greatest maritime mysteries of the 19th century; and for his exploration of Antarctica. On 8 May 1842 he was killed with his family when the train they were on derailed and caught fire during a journey from Versailles to Paris.
    [Source: National Library of Australia]

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Vue de L'entree du Port Jackson prise au pied du phare (Nouvelle Galles du Sud)

    Web title: Vue de l'entree du Port Jackson (View of the Entrance to Port Jackson)

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