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Voyages: Scientific Circumnavigations 1679 to 1859
Voyage of Dumont d'Urville 1826-1829

D’Urville’s arrival in New Zealand was the beginning of his dream to bring Cook’s maps of the islands into sharper focus. That great navigator’s maps consistently kept d’Urville on track, but he was able to make corrections in them. He wrote that Cook’s "configurations were extremely inaccurate and errors in longitude made in the first voyage were as high as one degree…"



"Nataï, one of the chiefs of the Bay of Wangari, New Zealand"

from Voyage de la Corvette l’Astrolabe…
Pendant les Années 1826-1829:
Paris: J. Tastu, 1830-1834.

Louis-Auguste de Sainson was working as a special clerk for the admiralty when he offered his services as artist for the expedition. D’Urville was pleased to accept; Sainson had developed an excellent reputation as an artist. Of his striking portrait of Nataï, d’Urville wrote that Sainson’s "clever brush faithfully reproduced the features, the mako (tatoo design) and the facial expression of this New Zealand warrior". The various tribes on the two islands had an entrenched and complicated military tradition, and d’Urville perceived a parallel between the crushing military requirements of young men in New Zealand and in Europe. He "felt sad to think that military honor" tended to discourage a natural "gentle, kindly temperament."

D"Urville: Page 2 of 8.
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