Image Indigenous Australian man, Gnoung-a Gnoung-a ('Collins'), 1802

TLF ID R4040

This is a colour print of a portrait drawn by the French artist Nicolas-Martin Petit somewhere near Port Jackson (Sydney), between 20 June and 17 November 1802. It shows a young Indigenous Australian man known as Gnoung-a Gnoung-a, and also as 'Collins'. He has short, curly hair and a light beard. His red headband is possibly made of cloth given to him by French explorers. The print, measuring 30.5 cm x 24.0 cm was published in France in 1824 as Plate no 20 in the second edition of 'Voyage de decouvertes aux Terres Australes (Atlas)' or 'Voyage of discovery to the Austral Lands (Atlas)'.



Educational details

Educational value
  • This asset is a product of the 1800-04 French expedition to Australia led by Nicolas Baudin (1754-1803) - the expedition set out aboard two ships in October 1800, the largest scientific team up to that time to leave Europe for the Pacific; Britain and France had been at war since 1793 and although British authorities were suspicious of French territorial intentions in Australia they guaranteed safe passage for the expedition, which contributed greatly to knowledge in Europe about Australia's Indigenous peoples, geography, and flora and fauna.
  • It provides evidence that the Baudin expedition focused on details of Indigenous individuals - the 'Age of Discovery' by European explorers sparked great interest in theories of human development and the original inhabitants of Australia and the South Pacific islands; several expeditioners, including Baudin, were members of the newly formed Société des Observateurs d'Homme (Society of the Observers of Man), and zoologist François Péron (1775-1810) represented the new science of social anthropology.
  • It is an example of the work of the artist Nicolas-Martin Petit (1777-1804), who had trained in the school of the leading French neoclassical painter Louis David (1748-1825) - although Petit and Charles-Alexandre Lesueur (1778-1846) had both been hired as assistant gunners, they became the two official artists on the Baudin expedition; Petit concentrated mostly on portraits and landscapes, and Lesueur on zoological subjects.
  • It portrays Gnoung-a Gnoung-a (d1809) who became known as 'Collins' among the British in Port Jackson, adopting his name from David Collins, the senior legal officer in the New South Wales colonial government - according to David Collins, Gnoung-a Gnoung-a was 'much esteemed by every white man who knew him' because of his bravery and 'a gentleness of manners which strongly marked his disposition'.
  • It features an Indigenous Australian man who had extensive contact with Europeans - in 1792-93, Gnoung-a Gnoung-a boarded the British supply ship 'Daedalus' for a nine-month voyage from Port Jackson to the north-west coast of North America and Hawaii; on another occasion, surgeons in Sydney unsuccessfully tried to remove the end of a barbed spear that had been driven into his loins, close to the vertebrae of his back, by Pemulway, a warrior from the region around what is now Parramatta; several weeks later, the end of the spear was said to have been removed by Gnoung-a Gnoung-a's wife or one of his male friends, using their teeth.
  • It is an example of a print made from an image engraved into metal, printed in colour, then finished by hand with watercolour paint - this print was made in Paris in 1824 using a stipple engraving by Barthelemy Roger (1767-1841), and was produced for one of the illustrations in the second edition of the atlas of the published account of the Baudin expedition, 'Voyage de decouvertes aux Terres Australes' (published in 1824).

Other details

Contributors
  • Author
  • Name: Arthus Bertrand\, Paris
  • Organization: Arthus Bertrand\, Paris
  • Description: Author
  • Person: Nicolas-Martin Petit
  • Description: Author
  • Person: Barthelemy Roger
  • Description: Author
  • Person: J Milbert
  • Description: Author
  • Contributor
  • Name: National Library of Australia
  • Organization: National Library of Australia
  • Description: Content provider
  • URL: http://www.nla.gov.au
  • Name: Arthus Bertrand\, Paris
  • Organization: Arthus Bertrand\, Paris
  • Description: Author
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Person: Nicolas-Martin Petit
  • Description: Author
  • Person: Barthelemy Roger
  • Description: Author
  • Person: J Milbert
  • Description: Author
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: National Library of Australia
  • Organization: National Library of Australia
  • Publisher
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organization: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Description: Publisher
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
Access profile
  • Colour independence
  • Device independence
  • Hearing independence
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
Rights
  • © Education Services Australia Ltd and National Library of Australia, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements