Baie de Sarah's Bosom ( Iles Auckland )

LOUIS AFTER LE BRETON (b.1818,d.1866)

Baie de Sarah's Bosom ( Iles Auckland )
Lithograph


From Dumont D'Urville's second voyage 1837-40, published Gide Editeur, Paris 1846, Atlas Pittoresque, Plate. 174. This lithograph, based on an original watercolour by Le Breton and executed by one Sabaner, was produced under the auspices of Alfred Leon Lemercier a well known artist and lithographer. The artist Louis Le Breton was born in Brittany, France. He studied at the Naval School in Brest in 1836-37 and was almost immediately appointed 3rd Class Surgeon to the Astrolabe on the completion of his studies there. His considerable skills as an artist came to the attention of the expedition's commander, Dumont D'Urville, and after the death of the expedition's official artist at Hobart in 1839 Le Breton took over his functions. During the joint voyage of the Astrolabe and the Zelee, the second under D'Urville's command, Le Breton worked in both pencil and watercolour. Of a total of a known 174 watercolours only 25 now exist.. He himself drew over 350 lithographs ( of which this work is not one ). The two ships spent January - March 1838 exploring the Antarctic, they then took their maps and charts back to Valparaiso, Chile so that they could be forwarded to Paris. In December 1839 the ships journeyed into the Pacific Islands but in January 1840 they moved again to the ice. From March - May 1840 D'Urville revisited New Zealand, approaching from the south via the Auckland Islands and passing Stewart Island before sailing up the East Coast. Both ships returned to Toulon in November 1840 . D'Urville was awarded the gold medal of the Geographical Society and promoted to Rear Admiral. For the next two years he worked on the preparation and publication of his account of the voyage. The two volumes had already appeared in a first edition when in May 1842 D'Urville, his wife and their only child were burned to death in a disastrous train wreck.



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