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Nicolas Baudin, Capitaine de Vaisseau. Commandant I'Expedition pour le tour du Monde et Specialement relatif aux Sciences et auz Arts, entreprise en I'An gme, 1800

by François Bonneville (engraver) after Joseph Jauffret

mezzotint (sheet (irregular): 27.5 cm x 21.0 cm, plate-mark: 20.5 cm x 13.5 cm)

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Nicolas Thomas Baudin (1754–1803), cartographic surveyor and naturalist, was sent by the French government to survey the coast of Australia in 1800. Following several previous French expeditions, Baudin came with two ships – Le Géographe and Le Naturaliste – and twenty-two scientists, and efficiently mapped stretches of Australia’s western and southern coastline and Tasmania. Along the way, he collected many specimens for classification and documented the cultures of Indigenous Tasmanians. In 1802, Baudin’s expedition crossed paths with that of English navigator Matthew Flinders at Encounter Bay, South Australia. The following year, on his homeward journey to France, Baudin died at Mauritius. Louis-Claude Desaulses De Freycinet, who had partnered Baudin on the expedition, published his account of the survey in 1812, ahead of Flinders whose own account was delayed by his detainment at Mauritius. Although the purpose of Baudin’s survey was scientific, the journey was sufficient to encourage further French expeditions to explore the viability of colonising Western Australia.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2015
Accession number: 2015.107