Barthélémy Lauvergne’s image shows the European Factories in Canton. These are not factories in the modern sense, but accommodation and trading posts for foreigners.
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.
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