11205

THE ASCENT OF THE MONTGOLFIER BROTHERS’ BALLOON LES FLESSELLES ON 19 JANUARY 1784, LYON, FRANCE BY JEAN-MARIE AUDIBERT

Lyon. 1784.

Measurements

Height: 17" (43.2 cm)
Width: 12" (30.5 cm).

Research
Gouache on paper.

Marks:
Signed semi-indistinctly, lower right:
Audibert fils inv. pinxit 1784

Published:
LaVaulx, Henry C, Charles Dollfus, and Paul Tissandier. L’ae éronautique Des Origines A À 1922. Paris: Floury, 1922. No. 10.

Provenance:
The Gaston and Albert Tissandier Collection
Collection of Paul Tissandier
William A.M. Burden, Jr.

This gouache depicts the flight of the Montgolfier brothers’ hot air balloon Les Flesselles on 19 January 1784 in Lyon. It was painted by the Lyonnais decorative artist Jean-Marie Audibert, and is signed Audibert fils inv. pinxit 1784.

The Montgolfier brothers began their large-scale aeronautic experiments in 1783, culminating in the first manned hot air balloon ascent made by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and the Marquis François Laurent le Vieux d’Arlandes at the Château de la Muette on November 21st. Early the following year, a new montgolfière was launched by Joseph Montgolfier and Pilâtre de Rozier, and it is this flight depicted in the present painting.

The balloon was called Les Flesselles, after Jacques de Flesselles (1730-1789), a royal civil servant. De Flesselles served as the Intendant of Lyon from 1768-1784 and was strongly devoted to all aspects of the city; he supported the Académie de Lyon, and encouraged technical and scientific development, including his sponsorship of the Montgolfier’s balloon.

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.