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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.

Bruny d'Entrecasteaux, 1837

Antoine Maurin

lithograph on paper (sheet: 23 cm x 13.5 cm)

Joseph-Antoine Raymond Bruny D'Entrecasteaux (1739-1793), French admiral and navigator, made detailed surveys and charts of the southern coast of Tasmania over two visits in 1792 and 1793. Having joined the navy aged fifteen, he rose to the role of governor of Île de France and Île Bourbon in the Indian Ocean. In 1791 he commanded the ships La Recherche and L'Espérance on an expedition to search for the navigator La Pérouse, who had gone missing after departing from Botany Bay in March 1788. D'Entrecasteaux's expedition failed to explain La Pérouse's disappearance, but the voyage produced important surveys of several Pacific islands, and reports of their vegetation, weather patterns, languages and cultures. In December 1792 D'Entrecasteaux hit the southwest coast of New Holland near Cape Leeuwin. From there, he sailed around the lower edge of the continent off Nuyts Land (now South Australia) until veering off to Van Diemen's Land on 4 January 1793. There, D'Entrecasteaux discovered a river that he called the Riviére du Nord, but when the Englishman John Hayes arrived a few months later he renamed it the Derwent River. After surveying the seas around the Solomon Islands, the expedition headed for the Dutch Islands, but D'Entrecasteaux died at sea from scurvy. Tasmania's D'Entrecasteaux Channel is named after the navigator, as is Bruny Island.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2009

Accession number: 2009.13

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Antoine Maurin (age 44 in 1837)

Admiral Joseph-Antoine R. Bruny d'Entrecasteaux

Subject professions

Exploration and settlement

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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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.

Louis XVI giving final instructions to the Comte de La Perouse, c. 1785
Louis XVI giving final instructions to the Comte de La Perouse, c. 1785
Louis XVI giving final instructions to the Comte de La Perouse, c. 1785
Louis XVI giving final instructions to the Comte de La Perouse, c. 1785

Sea legged frogs

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2011

Joanna Gilmour describes some of the stories of the individuals and incidents that define French exploration of Australia and the Pacific.

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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.