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Vue du phare du Port Jackson (Nouvelle Galles du Sud) [View of lighthouse at Port Jackson (NSW)]

Date: 1830
Overall: 350 x 505 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Lithograph
Object No: 00000894
Related Place:Sydney,

User Terms

    This lithograph by Louis de Sainson, was published in 1830 as Plate 26 in the 'Atlas historique' accompanying Jules Dumont d'Urville's first ASTROLABE voyage account 'Voyage de la corvette Astrolabe' (1826 - 1829).

    View of Macquarie Lighthouse at Port Jackson. The aspect is towards the east, apparently after an afternoon storm.
    SignificanceNorth and South Heads are the defining landmarks for the entrance into Sydney Harbour (Port Jackson) This work captures an impressive structure on South head and its attraction for local inhabitants.
    HistoryThe first Macquarie Lighthouse was built in 1818 adjacent to the site of a navigational aid that had been in place since 1791. Governor Macquarie ordered the construction of this permanent structure according to a design by convict architect Francis Greenway. However, the sandstone used to build the lighthouse deteriorated and a new, near-identical lighthouse, constructed in stronger materials, was built in 1883 immediately adjacent to the original one. Still referred to as the Macquarie Lighthouse, this 'new' lighthouse is still functioning and is the oldest lighthouse site in Australia.

    The Macquarie Lighthouse precinct acquired a recreational purpose for Sydney residents and visitors by the mid 1820s; this is clearly shown in this picture, in particular through the couple - an Army officer and his wife - in the foreground, strolling with their toddler and infant child (the latter is being carried by his father). Two horsemen and two horse-drawn carriages are also shown, carrying well-to-do daytrippers out for a drive.

    Louis de Sainson was the official artist on board Dumont d'Urville's L'ASTROLABE, which visited Sydney in December 1826. Captain 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 had participated in a hydrographic survey of the Aegean Sea and had 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, after putting in at Botany Bay shortly after the arrival of the First Fleet, had disappeared without trace in 1788.

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

    The site of LA BOUSSOLE was not discovered until 1986 when a Franco-Australian archaeological team working with the Solomon Islands National Museum found more wreckage at a site called 'la Faille', approximately half a mile to the east of La Perouse's ASTROLABE wrecksite that had been investigated by the crews of several French naval vessels in the course of 19th century.

    On its second Pacific voyage, which included exploration in 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 Charles-Hector 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 mystery of the the disappearance of La Perouse, one of the greatest maritime mysteries from the annals of Pacific exploration history, 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.

    Louis de Sainson: 'Atlas historique' to 'Voyage de la corvette l'Astrolabe execute par ordre du Roi pendant les annees 1826, 1827, 1828, 1829, sous le commandement de M. Jules S-C Dumont d'Urville

    Ernest Goupil, Louis le Breton: 'Atlas Pittoresque' to 'Voyage au Pole Sud et dans l'Oceanie sur les corvettes l'Astrolabe et la Zelee, execute par ordre du Roi pendant les annees 1837, 1838, 1839,1840, sous le commandement de M. Jules Dumont d'Urville, Capitaine de Vaisseau.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Vue du phare du Port Jackson (Nouvelle Galles du Sud) [View of lighthouse at Port Jackson (NSW)]

    Primary title: Vue du phare du Port Jackson (Nouvelle Galles du Sud). Lithograph by Louis Auguste de Sainson. Paper, ink. Paris, 1830.

    Related People
    Lithographer: Joseph Lemercier
    Editor: J Tastu

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