Terre Napoléon: Australia through French eyes

From a forgotten voyage of great expectations, this exhibition captured the breathtaking images of Australia through French eyes.

Terre Napoléon told the remarkable story of an expedition marked by suffering and tragedy, through beautiful artworks. Featuring luminous watercolours and delicate sketches of Aboriginal culture, the Port Jackson settlement and, above all, our marine life, birds and mammals the exhibition displayed the genius of Charles-Alexandre Lesueur and Nicolas-Martin Petit, artists of the Baudin expedition (1800 - 1804). The voyage was significant in discovering more specimens and describing more new species than all previous voyages combined, including those of Captain Cook. These images represented Napoleon’s ambitions to conquer a new scientific empire in the Antipodes. For the first time in Australia these images celebrated an extraordinary moment in the shared history of France, Australia and Britain.

Produced in collaboration with the Lesueur Collection at the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, Le Havre, France.

Principal sponsor: Banque Nationale de Paris, Australia.
Supporting sponsors: Rossignol, AOM French Airlines, Champagne Pommery.

27 February 1999 - 30 May 1999

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