Skip to main content

We’re thrilled to welcome you back to the Gallery! Please see what we need you to do first.

Menu

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.

François Péron, c. 1805

Jean Henri Cless and Conrad Westermayr (engraver)

engraving on paper (sheet: 18.5 cm x 11.3 cm, plate-mark: 13.1 cm x 8.6 cm, image: 9.4 cm x 6.9 cm)

More images of this artwork

François Péron (1775–1810), naturalist and explorer, served as a soldier from 1792 to 1794, in which period he was imprisoned and lost the sight of one eye. After working as the town clerk in his home town, Cérilly, he studied medicine in Paris and in 1800 volunteered for Baudin’s expedition to the western and southern coasts of Australia. He hoped to observe the peoples encountered on the way, but was appointed a trainee zoologist instead. Peron and Baudin did not enjoy a happy relationship. Alongside artist Charles-Alexandre Lesueur, Peron gathered some 100,000 zoological specimens, which still comprises the largest Australasian natural history collection. He also conducted important experiments on deep water temperature, and wrote about Indigenous Tasmanians of the south east (Péron is credited with inventing the term ‘anthropology’). When Baudin died, Péron took over the official account of the expedition, Voyage de Découvertes aux Terres Australes, doing no favours to Baudin’s memory therein. Among his numerous other publications was a secret memo urging a French takeover of Port Jackson, to be achieved with the aid of disaffected Irish convicts. He died of tuberculosis at 35; Louis de Freycinet finished his account of the voyage. Peron is commemorated in François Péron National Park, located some 720 kilometres north of Perth.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2010

Accession number: 2010.55

Currently not on display

Copyright image request form
Request a digital copy of an image for publication

Artist and subject

Jean Henri Cless

Conrad Westermayr (age 40 in 1805)

Francois Peron (age 30 in 1805)

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.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

Plan your visit

Timed ticketing, location, accessibility and amenities

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.