FREMINVILLE, Christophe-Paulin de La Poix, chevalier de (1787-1848). L'Isle Wallis. Latitude 13'18' S. 178' 50'O. [ca 1820].

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Single sheet (5 6/8 x 8 4/8 inches), laid down on heavier stock. A fine and detailed pencil drawing of Wallis Island in the Pacific Ocean.


Provenance: Sotheby's 30th June, 1983, lot 463

Christophe Paulin Chevalier de las Poix de Freminiville, sailor and naturalist began his career on the seas in 1801, inspired by the voyages of Captain James Cook, which he is reputed to have read for the first time at the age of 8. Rising steadily through the ranks he became a captain in 1830. During his many years at sea Freminiville was involved in several scientific expeditions; one of the earliest this voyage to the Arctic in 1819. Between the years 1822 and 1823 he sailed with the Frigate "La Nereide" to the coast of west Africa. Between 1823-1829 he sailed along the Central and Southern American coastline, and as on all his voyages, drawing coastal profiles and views, and specimens of exotic creatures, some of which were named in his honour, including a number of marine species, but most notably the Eagle Ray (Myliobatis Fremonvillei).

The islands of the Wallis and Futuna group in the Pacific Ocean were discovered by Dutch explorers Jacob le Maire and Willem Schouten on their 1615-1616 voyage westward from Tierra del Fuego.However, it was the French who were the first Europeans to settle in the territory, with the arrival of French missionaries in 1837, who converted the population to Roman Catholicism. Pierre Chanel, canonized as a saint in 1954, is a major patron of the island of Futuna and the region. The Wallis Islands are named after the British explorer, Samuel Wallis.