Portrait of Nicholas Baudin, commander of the important French scientific expedition to Australia and the South Pacific from 1800-1803. The portrait was engraved by Francois Bonneville for the Portraits des Personnages Célébres de la Révolution published in four volumes between 1796-1802.

Mezzotint 210 x 135mm. Paris

SKU SF000794 Category


Baudin began his career in the merchant navy where he acquired a reputation as a sound navigator. He was commissioned into the navy in 1786 and undertook two expeditions to the West Indies to collect natural history specimens, experience which led to his appointment as commander of the Géographe, lead vessel of Napoleon’s major scientific voyage to the Southern hemisphere.

The voyage was successful in collecting and recording a spectacular array of natural history marvels, some of which were pursued at the express request of the Empress Josephine, and also resulted in the first full atlas of Australia, published in 1812. There was tension aboard between loyalist and revolutionary sympathisers and despite his evident ability, Baudin was unpopular with most of the scientists and many of the officers on board. Baudin died in Mauritius in 1803, and the official account of the voyage was published by Peron and Freycinet, both of whom downplayed Baudin’s role.

Additional information



François Bonneville


Ink, Paper