D'Urville attempted to reach the Antarctic continent in early 1838, heading south from Tierra del Fuego for the Weddell Sea. He reached just below 62°S and was blocked and trapped in the ice for several days, breaking free on 9 February and heading west to a coastline he named and claimed for his King and country 'Louis-Philippe Land' and 'Joinville Island', charting and mapping in March 1838 the northern extremity of what is now known as Graham Land. He retreated from a far south of 63°27' in late March towards Chile as scurvy broke out on the ships. Undaunted, he would return to explore the Antarctic waters again in 1840 after an extensive exploration of the Pacific between May 1838 and October 1839.
The present drawing was published as a lithograph in the Atlas Pittoresque which accompanied Dumont d'Urville's narrative of the expedition, published in ten volumes, Paris, 1844 (I, pl.20).