Australian National Maritime Museum: 31 August – 26 November 2017
The Art of Science: Baudin’s Voyagers 1800 -1804 was opened last night by the French Ambassador, His Excellency Christophe Penot. This stunning exhibition brings over 340 of the original paintings and drawings from the Museum of Natural History in Le Havre, France to Australian audiences for the first time.
It also features two of the four Louis Berthoud chronometers purchased for the expedition October 22, 1799, exquisite coastal profiles, hand drawn maps (including the Freycinet 1811 first map of Australia, and Baudin’s personal journal from France’s National Archives. (Photo of Chronometer 31 (top) and Chronometer 35 (below for detail) which is on loan to the ANMM from the Silent World Foundation)
Baudin’s ships, Géographe and Naturaliste embarked from Le Havre in October 1800 for the Southern continent carrying an impressive contingent of scientists and scientific assistants. Lavishly funded by Napoleon Bonaparte, the expedition’s agenda was the discovery and study of natural sciences, underpinned by the emergence of new ideas and philosophies of reason.
The exhibition showcases original sketches and paintings created by Baudin’s artists Charles Alexandre Lesueur and Nicolas-Martin Petit during the voyage of 1800-1804. Lesueur and Petit created their paintings and drawings on the shores and off the coasts of Australia and captured some of the first European views of Australian animals, landscapes and very first portraits of Aboriginal people.