Catalog Archive
Auction 167, Lot 431

"Inhabitants and Monuments of Easter Island", La Perouse, Comte Jean F. Galoup, de

Subject: Prints - Natives, Easter Island

Period: 1798 (dated)

Publication: Charts and Plates to La Perouse's Voyage...

Color: Black & White

11.8 x 7.9 inches
30 x 20.1 cm
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Jean-Francois de Galoup, Comte de La Perouse commanded a French scientific expedition to the Pacific in 1785-88. Recognized as one the foremost naval commanders and navigators in France, he was selected by King Louis XVI to complete Captain James Cook's exploration of the western Pacific. The British Admiralty provided scientific equipment to measure variations in magnetic compass readings and with the latest instruments for determining longitude. La Perouse explored the coasts of the Gulf of Alaska and northwestern North America in search of the fabled Northwest Passage. After leaving America his expedition continued on to Asia where he explored from Macao to Kamchatka and the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. La Perouse was meticulous in sending copies of his extensive logs, maps and surveying information via other ships as well as overland. La Perouse's last contact was in the spring of 1788 with a British ship in Botany Bay, Australia. The expedition was never heard from again. Considered one of the greatest French voyages, the French Government decided to publish the story of the expedition when it became clear they had been lost. An English edition was published in London.

Easter Island's world famous monolithic monuments feature prominently in this stunning view of the island. It depicts French naval officers and natives interacting in harmony against a mountainous backdrop. The natives are portrayed as fascinated with the Europeans' clothes, and one of them peers at himself in a mirror. Comte Jean Francois Galoup de la Perouse, a French Navy Commander, visited Easter Island in April 1786 when he anchored in Cook's Bay. His visit was brief as there was no wood or water readily available with which to restock. This engraving appeared in the supplementary volume to the English edition of La Perouse's Voyage Round the World, and was published by G.G & J Robinson. Drawn by Gaspard Duche de Vancy and engraved by James Heath.


Condition: A

A crisp impression.

Estimate: $120 - $150

Sold for: $130

Closed on 3/28/2018