LEBRETON, Louis (1818-1866)
[TAHITI] I[le]. Taïti. Le C.A. Dupetit Thouars faisant amener le pavillon taïtien et prenant possession au nom de la France.
[= Tahiti. Rear Admiral Dupetit Thouars raises the Tahitian [Protectorate] flag and takes possession in the name of France]. Paris : Vor. Delarue et Cie. ; London : Anaglyphic Company ; Leipzig : Gebrüder Rocca, 1844. Lithograph with hand colouring, 305 x 483 mm (sheet 408 x 557 mm), signed ‘Louis Lebreton’ in stone lower right; printed title in lower margin, along with identification of the various ships, including Dupetit Thouars’ vessel Reine Blanche (at far left) and Queen Pōmare IV’s residence, Motou Ata (at far right); with ‘Dessiné et lith. par Lebreton’ and ‘Imp. par Lemercier’; edges with mild matte burn (offsetting), short closed tear at top edge right, but a very good example; unframed.
Drawn and lithographed by the renowned marine artist Louis Lebreton, this superb lithograph is one of two by this artist which depict the French ships of Rear Admiral Dupetit Thouars in the bay of Papeete on 9 September 1842, imposing a French protectorate over Tahiti and the Marquesas. The official annexation by France would take place 6 November 1843.
The artist, Louis Lebreton, was a watercolourist and trained physician who served as a ship’s surgeon on Dumont d’Urville’s scientific expedition (1837-40). He became the official voyage artist following the death of Ernest Goupil in Tasmania, and was ultimately responsible for most of the illustrations in the Dumont d’Urville voyage account’s Atlas pittoresque (1846).
This separately issued lithograph appears unrecorded in Australian collections.