FREMINVILLE, Christophe-Paulin de La Poix, chevalier de (1787-1848). Vue du pont de corde et du fort de Bertheaume. [July, 1822].

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Single sheet (7 2/8 x 9 4/8 inches), laid down on heavier stock. A fine watercolour drawing of the Fort de Bertheaume of the coast of Brittany in Northwest France (some worming to the margins affecting the image).


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).

In his 'Memoirs...', Freminville records passing the Fort de Bertheaume in the 'Le Curieux' at the head of a convoy, on a beautiful sunny day in July of 1822. His watercolour shows the island fort connected to the mainland by a rope bridge, a foot bridge was not built until 1835. The fort of Bertheaume dates to at least the late 1400s, but it was destoyed by an English attack in 1588 and rebuilt.