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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Cour-rou-bari-gal, 1807

Nicolas-Martin Petit after Barthélemy Roger

engraving, hand-coloured on paper (sheet: 34.0 cm x 25.6 cm, plate-mark: 31.5 cm x 24.5 cm)

This is an engraving based on one of several drawings made in Sydney in 1802 by Nicolas-Martin Petit (1777–1804), an artist on Nicolas Baudin’s expedition. Having participated in two scientific expeditions during the 1790s, Baudin was commissioned by the French government in 1800 to survey the Australian coast. The voyage, endorsed by Napoleon, was also tasked with studying natural history and making detailed scientific observations of Indigenous people. Consequently, Baudin’s vessels, Le Géographe and Le Naturaliste, were lavishly equipped, with twenty-two scientists among the expedition’s company. Petit and another artist, Charles-Alexandre Lesueur, embarked as gunner’s mates, but were elevated to official artist roles when the men initially appointed to those posts quit six months into the expedition. Lesueur focussed on the recording of landscape and species, while the depiction of the people fell largely to Petit, a Paris-born draughtsman who’d had some training in the studio of Jacques-Louis David. After surveying the western and southern coats of the continent throughout the latter half of 1801, in early 1802 Baudin’s ships called at the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, Bruny Island and Maria Island in Tasmania, where Petit made several portraits which have subsequently come to be considered important records of Indigenous life in the period prior to permanent European colonisation. From June to November 1802, the expedition was delayed in Sydney while the two vessels were repaired, providing the opportunity for Petit to complete portraits of people of the Cadigal, Dharawal, Gweagal, Kurringai and Darug language groups of the Sydney region.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Ross A Field 2008

Accession number: 2008.39

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Nicolas-Martin Petit

Barthélemy Roger (age 40 in 1807)

Related information

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On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.