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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.

Louis-Antoine de Bougainville

n.d.
Antoine Maurin, Emile Lassalle (lithographer) and Lemercier & Cie, Paris (printer)

lithograph on paper (sheet: 25.0 cm x 19.4 cm)

Louis-Antoine de Bougainville (1729–1811), explorer, was an outstanding soldier, sailor and navigator who was gifted, too, in many intellectual spheres. A protegée of Madame de Pompadour, in the early 1760s he founded a French outpost on the Îles Malouines (now the Falkland Islands) which was a useful waystation for French trading vessels until it was ceded to Spain in 1767. He is best-remembered, however, for his command of the Boudeuse and the Étoile on a voyage around the globe between 1766 and 1769. The Bougainville expedition travelled to the Pacific via the Strait of Magellan, visiting Tahiti, Samoa, the New Hebrides and New Guinea. The vessels hit heavy seas close to the coast of north Queensland, meaning that Bougainville missed the chance not only to survey any of the Great Southern Land, but to claim it in the name of France in line with his instructions to ‘erect poles bearing the arms of France’ and ‘draw up Acts of Possession in the name of His Majesty’ on any seemingly uninhabited land he came across. In 1772 he became secretary to Louis XV; after serving in the French fleet supporting the American Revolution, he survived both a court-martial and the French revolution, was made a count by Napoleon 1 and lived out his life on his estate in Normandy.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Ted and Gina Gregg 2012

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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