Color lithograph La Didon


Framed color lithograph from the Frigate La Didon after a watercolor by Francois Roux. The litho is 28 x 20 cm, the overall size is is 43 x 35 cm

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La Didon was built in Toulon and was launched on 15 July 1828. It is a frigate of the Dryad class and had 60 canons. The Didon participated in the invasion of Algiers in 1830, and in the Battle of Tagus the following year. In 1836 the Didon crashed on the south coast of St. Croix, losing her helm. The ship was salvaged but later got stuck again, this time in Frederickstadt. The Didon was used for the last time during the Krimoorlag, this time only as a troop transport ship. The Didon was demolished in 1867.

The Roux family has been active for generations as painters and map makers, in this family François Geoffroi, Roux, was born in Marseille on 21 October 1811, the fourth child of Antoine and Rose. His talent brought him to the attention of Carle and Horace Vernet, like his brother Frédéric before, but he did not go to Paris like his brother. He stayed in Marseille, where he eventually took over his father’s hydrographic workshop. Francois became famous for his ability to naturally portray a ship. He was so skilled that it was said that Francis “assimilated the science of the ship because he was both a builder and sailor.” Of particular interest is a series of watercolors that he created between the end of 1860 and 1882 that the French ships displayed over the years. These were given to the Louvre, but because nothing has been recorded, it is unclear how much he made. The Musée de la Marine currently owns 71 of these watercolors. François died in Marseille on September 30, 1882.

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