Fort de Canton, Chine
Coloured lithographpublished 1841-1852
About the work
Place: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Whitehall
This image shows the Dutch Folly Fort at Canton, which was also painted by British artist George Chinnery.
French admiral Auguste-Nicolas Vaillant led a voyage in a corvette (small warship) named ‘La Bonite’ from 1836 to 1837, cruising the Pacific and Indian Oceans, chiefly to protect French merchant and whaling-vessels. However, the voyage was also a scientific expedition and Vaillant carried on board two naturalists and watercolourists Théodore-Auguste Fisquet and Barthélémy Lauvergne. ‘La Bonite’ visited Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Peru, before crossing the Pacific to reach the China coast. Fisquet and Lauvergne, provided botanical illustrations for the scientists and also produced topographical views of the locations they visited. Accounts of the voyage were issued in several volumes under the title ‘Voyage autour du monde… sur la corvette La Bonite’, which included over 100 plates. On 21 December 1836, Vaillant set off for Macao (now Macau), in China, then a Portuguese colony. He then travelled to Canton with the French Consul in Canton, Benoist Gernaert, and several of his own party, including Lauvergne and Fisquet.
About the artist
As a young man French naval officer and watercolourist Theodore-Auguste Fisquet accompanied the expedition of French admiral Auguste Nicolas Vaillant. Although the chief aim of the voyage was to protect French merchant and whaling-vessels, it was also a scientific expedition. A number of Fisquet’s resulting drawings were reproduced in lithograph in the published account of the voyage, ‘Voyage autour du monde execute pendant les annees 1836 et 1837 sur la corvette La Bonite’. The publication included over 100 plates after drawings by Fisquet and others. Later, Fisquet became an Admiral in the French navy. His died at Fort Robinson, northwest Nebraska, on 11 January 1890.