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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.

La Pérouse, c. 1830s

N Mague (engraver) and Blaisot (publisher)

engraving on paper (sheet: 29.5 cm x 20.9 cm, image: 19.3 cm x 12.8 cm)

Jean-François de Galaup la Pérouse, Comte de la Pérouse (1741–1788), navigator, distinguished himself in French navy campaigns against the English in Hudson Bay in 1782. Selected to lead the French expedition seeking to ratify Cook’s discoveries in the Pacific and clarify geographical mysteries in the Bering Sea, he left in command of the Boussole and L’Astrolabe in 1785. After touching at Alaska, California, Macao, Manila, Korea, Sakhalin Island and Kamchatka (where he dispatched his journals) he headed for New Holland. In Samoa eleven of the Astrolabe’s crew were killed, but he made no reprisals. He was seen off the coast of Botany Bay on 24 January 1788, and came ashore two days later. After staying six weeks in the area that now bears his name, he sailed away – never to be seen again. A search led by Bruny d’Entrecasteaux in 1791 proved fruitless; only in 1828 was it established that he had wrecked at Santa Cruz. The four-volume Voyage De La Pérouse Autour du Monde, the account of his journey as far as Kamchatka, was published in Paris in 1797 and translated into English a few years later.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2009

Accession number: 2009.59

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

N Mague (age 30 in 1830)

Blaisot

Jean-François de Galaup La Perouse

Subject professions

Exploration and settlement

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

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.

Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva
Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva
Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva
Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva

Darling Portrait Prize

Current exhibition

from Friday 6 March

The Darling Prize is a new annual prize for Australian portrait painters, painting Australian sitters. The winner receives a cash prize of $75,000.

Andy Thomas, 2002 Montalbetti+Campbell
Andy Thomas, 2002 Montalbetti+Campbell
Andy Thomas, 2002 Montalbetti+Campbell
Andy Thomas, 2002 Montalbetti+Campbell

Uncommon Australians

The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling

Previous exhibition, 2015

This exhibition showcases portraits acquired through the generosity of the National Portrait Gallery’s Founding Patrons, L Gordon Darling AC CMG and Marilyn Darling AC.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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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.