Le Naufrage de Virginie.Paul alloit s’élancer à la mer, lorsque je le saisais par le bras: mon fils, lui dis-je, voulez vous périr? Que j aille à son secours s’écria-l’il, ou que je meurt!__Paul et Virginie.
Se Vend à Paris à la Manufacture de papiers peints, chez Arthur et Comp.e sur le Boulevard. [n.d. c.1800.]
Aquatint and etching, 414 x 565mm (16¼ x 22¼").
The shipwreck. Paul watches on in horror from the shore as a ship is hurled by a huge wave towards rocks on the tropical island of Mauritius; he is restrainted by one white and two black companions. Virginia and a blac slave stand on the deck of the doomed ship. The most famous ship name in the history of Mauritius is the slaveship St. Géran which, whilst bringing colonists, was shipwrecked in 1744 on fringing reef of island's northeast coast. Only nine survived the wreck and it did inspire the novel Paul et Virginie by Bernadin de St. Pierre. In the novel Virginie, out of modesty, refuses to remove her clothes so that the sailor can carry her to shore and is consequently drowned. On shore grief stricken Paul dies soon afterwards. The novel was written on the eve of the French Revolution by Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, and it records the fate of a child of nature corrupted by the false, artificial sentimentality that prevailed at the time among the upper classes of France.
See Ref: 18009 for a rare coloured version of the scene
[Ref: 28894] £450.00