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With the L’association Laperouse

L’association Laperouse, a dynamic association based around the Museum of Laperouse in the old quarter of  Albi launched a new book with champagne and  “la galette des rois” about recent discoveries relating to Laperouse.

You may be aware of Laperouse?  Laperouse_soiree_IMG_6761_wp.JPG

Laperouse, navigator and discoverer was literally the French answer to Captain James  Cook and the HMS Endeavour.

The second photo shows principally Henry Féral, Préfet honoraire, Maire de Puycelsi giving his obligatory speech which included a round up of the years activities and future dates. Laperouse_soiree__IMG_6767_wp.JPG

Maybe you are aware, Comte, Captain, Laperouse, navigator and discoverer, or more formally,  Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse (1741-88), with 2 ships, La Boussole and L’Astrolabe was one of the early European pioneers to enter the Pacific ocean on a voyage of science and discovery?

All Europe had been stunned by the achievements of James Cook.

The French in particular with their enthusiasm for science and discovery greatly admired James Cook.

So much so that the French king expressly forbade any French ship from interfering with the voyages of James Cook (other English ships remaining fair game!).

In turn, Cook’s men voluntarily and sportingly agreed not to attack French ships.

The Spanish and Americans followed suite, ensuring James Cook’s safe passage from their ships.

The King of France took a personal interest in the voyage of Laperouse.

Many of the documents relating to the voyage have the King’s hand writing in the margins.


Today interest in Laperouse is growing, worldwide.

Laperouse was born in Albi, at that time a city of some 9,000 inhabitants.

Albi is in central SW France (near my studio at Itzac) so fittingly this city has a very small museum in his honour.Albi__18.01.10_IMG_6753_d.jpg

The museum is curiously, just about the same size as the inside of one of his ships.

It is of course completely over shadowed by Albi’s other museum which is world class and  dedicated to the great artist Toulouse Lautrec.

However, interest in Laperouse is growing world wide including an exhibition currently on tour and recently in Paris and St Malo.

There are now museums commemorating the voyage of Laperouse on the West coast of the USA, East coast of Russia and notably in Australia at

La Perouse Museum, Botany Bay National Park Anzac Parade

La Perouse, NSW 2036
Telephone: 02 – 9311 3379
The Laperouse visit to Australia is the subject of a marine painting I have been quietly researching for some years, most recently with visits to Paris and Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse (1741-88), Taunton (described in earlier pages of this blog).
There was an amazing rendez vous at Botany bay.
The very same day the first Fleet were leaving Botany Bay having decided it was unfit for a new settlement and discovered Port Jackson’s and Sydney Cove, guess who arrived?

The British received La Pérouse courteously, sent a pilot boat and offered him any assistance he might need.

La Pérouse sent many of his journals and letters to Europe with a British ship, others having been sent previously via Russia (Vladivostok).

Just as well as the voyage of Laperouse was doomed.

The voyage of Laperouse touched many shores.

Tragically one to many, the ships were wrecked.

Far better is to visit the museum at Albi or the very informative web site  http://www.laperouse-france.fr/

One of the many things I have come to like about this charming museum and L’association Laperouse is how active they are.

New exhibits and new discoveries appear on every visit I have made.Laperouse_soiree_IMG_6762_wp.JPG

In the coming year, L’association Laperouse is particularly interested to forge links with other museums in Europe dedicated to the great explorers.

This with a view to presenting joint proposals to the European Parliament for funding ongoing projects and exhibitions.

Maybe you have contacts who could further this aim?

If so kindly email me ASAP, thanks.


Yes, that is the subject of one of my next marine paintings.

As usual the version in Wikipedia is not correct.

You would do better to read the account a copy of the first published account of the settlement of Australia.

To visualise that remarkable meeting try “Watkin Tench 1788” edited by Tim Flannery ISBN 1-875847-27-8, an eye witness account.Tench was a Royal Marine Captain in his late 20’s, observant, humane, one of the first ashore and has left us a compelling account in elegant prose.
You can follow the progress on this new marine painting on this blog.
Where the painting will go I know not, it is as yet not pre sold.
I am painting this because  this “needs to be done”, a painting of enduring worth.

The Australians don’t yet know what I’m up to!