The Balloon Drifting Sea-Ward


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Inventory Number


Physical Description

  • Colored etching of a balloon aloft over a harbor lined with ships. The scene depicts the launch of Jules Duruof (1841-1899) and his wife from the Place d'Armes, Calais in July 1874. The Duruofs launched in threatening weather when the crowd questioned their courage. Remarking, "Let us show them that we are not afraid to die," the pair disappeared into the mist and were presumed lost. Their rescue by the English fishing boat Grand Charge was much celebrated.
  • Duruof had flown a balloon from besieged Paris at 8am on September 20, 1870 to become one of the aeronaut/heroes of the Siege of Paris. He was later charged with cooperating with the communards, but acquitted.

Credit Line

Gift of the Norfolk Charitable Trust


Print, Etching on Paper, Colored


2-D - Unframed (H x W): 21.3 × 10.5cm (8 3/8 × 4 1/8 in.)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


ART-Prints, Original

Related Topics