Canary Islands Romantic period and scientific expeditions

Sirera and Renn (2004) distinguish two different types of expeditions, or voyages, during the period 1770–1830, which they term “the Romantic period”:

First are “expeditions financed by the States, closely related with the official scientific Institutions. characterised by having strict scientific objectives (and inspired by) the spirit of Illustration and progress”. In this type of expedition, Sirera and Renn include the following travellers:

J. Edens, whose 1715 ascent and observations of Mt. Teide influenced many subsequent expeditions.

Louis Feuillée (1724), who was sent to measure the meridian of El Hierro and to map the islands.

Jean-Charles de Borda (1771, 1776) who more accurately measured the longitudes of the islands and the height of Mount Teide

the Baudin-Ledru expedition (1796) which aimed to recover a valuable collection of natural history objects.

The second type of expedition identified by Sirera and Renn is one that took place starting from more or less private initiatives. Among these, the key exponents were the following:

Alexander von Humboldt (1799)

Buch and Smith (1815)



Sabin Berthelot.

Sirera and Renn identify the period 1770–1830 as one in which “In a panorama dominated until that moment by France and England enters with strength and brio Germany of the Romantic period whose presence in the islands will increase”.

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