The Red Balloons


A special reprint series depicting key historical balloon flights from the 1700s. During the 18th century, the first balloons - both hot air and hydrogen powered - drew spectacular crowds (some of which included Marie Antoinette) and caused huge excitement. This great public interest was dubbed Balloonomania and quickly spread from France across the Channel to England.

This set is hand framed in textured red mouldings with linen accent mounts and a soft sandstone accent border. The framing style has been designed so the balloons can hung in all interior spaces (not just nurseries). The prints are available as a full set of 6, a curated set of 4, or singles. These illustrations originally came from an Italian publication published in the 1800s. The set also includes an illustration demonstrating how balloons were filled with gas. 

The famous balloons included in this set are:

  • The Montgolfier Balloon. In November 1783, the first untethered hot air balloon flight carrying humans occurred, in a balloon made from paper and silk by the French Montgolfier brothers. It travelled 5 1/2 miles from the centre of Paris before landing safely.
  • The Charles Robert Balloon. French scientist Professor Jacques Charles designed a hot air balloon and hired two engineers to build it (the Robert brothers). Their flight in 1783 started from what is now the site of the Eiffel Tower and was the first manned hydrogen balloon.
  • Lunardi's Balloon. Italian hot air balloonist Vincent Lunardi made the first manned, free floating balloon flight in English skies from London in 1784.
  • Blanchard's Balloon. In 1785, French balloonist John-Pierre Blanchard and John Jeffries, an American doctor, became the first men to fly over the English Channel in a hydogen balloon. His balloon included 'aerial oars' to help steer his craft.
  • Garnerin's Parachute. French balloonist and inventor André Garnerin, made the first safe descent with a silk parachute from a ballon in Paris, 1797. 

All our reproduction collections are limited in number and originate from antiques specially sourced by Petri Prints.

Frame Features

  • Reprint, hand framed by specialist British framers.
  • External frame size: 32 x 36 cm
  • Ready to hang.
  • Conservation, acid-free mounting board - to provide protection to your artwork.
  • Printed on a specialist 290 gsm fine art paper, Hahnemühle Hemp -  Hemp was an essential part of paper production for centuries, and due to its extremely robust fibres, it has often been used for long-lasting historical documents.
  • Glazed with premium anti-reflective Artglass that's used by the finest galleries and museums around the world.