FREMINVILLE, Christophe-Paulin de La Poix, chevalier de (1787-1848). View de l'Isle de Goree, prise du Mouillage. May 8th, 1822
Single sheet (8 2/8 x 11 inches), laid down on heavier stock, a fine and detailed original watercolour view of the Island of Goree off the coast of Senegal in West Africa (edges frayed, some worming to lower margin).
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 Artic in 1819. Between the years 1822 and 1823 he sailed with the Frigate "La Nereide" to the coast of west Africa. "La Nereide" departed the anchorage of the island of Goree on the morning of the 6th of May, 1822. 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 island of Gorée was one of the first places in Africa to be settled by Europeans, as the Portuguese settled on the island in 1444. It was captured by the United Netherlands in 1588, then the Portuguese again, and again the Dutch. They named it after the Dutch island of Goeree, before the British took it over under Robert Holmes in 1664. After the French gained control in 1677, the island remained continuously French until 1960.