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HMS ROYAL ADELAIDE LYING AT ANCHOR IN THE HAMOAZE AT DEVONPORT, WITH A LONGBOAT CARRYING DISTINGUISHED VISITORS HEADING INSHORE OFF HER STERN, THE BUILDINGS OF THE ROYAL WILLIAM VICTUALLING YARD ON THE OPPOSITE BANK.
Bears signature and date 1837, oil on canvas.
The first rate warship Royal Adelaide was laid down in Plymouth Dockyard as the London in May 1819. A larger version of Nelson's Victory, she displaced 4,122 tons, measured 198 feet in length with a 54 foot beam, and mounted 104 guns on three decks.
She was one of the earliest Royal Navy ships to have planking right round the bow at the height of the forecastle. However attempts to strengthen the stern in a similar way meant depriving the officers of their large windows and glass doors and met with indignant opposition. They objected to being deprived of their comfort, so the windows and glass doors remained open to devastating broadsides from astern.
Originally called HMS London she was nine years on the stocks before being launched on 28th July 1828 in the presence of the Lord High Admiral, the Duke of Clarence (later King William IV), as HMS London, she was christened by his Duchess and immediately renamed HMS Royal Adelaide in honour of the future Queen Adelaide.
Spending most of her career as Port Admiral's flagship at Plymouth, she was transferred to Chatham in 1891, where she served as Receiving Ship until 1904, and was finally broken up at Dunkirk in 1905.
JOSEPH WALTER (1783–1856) was an English marine painter in oils and watercolour, working at Bristol and Portishead. He gained notice for his portrayals of Brunel's steamships Great Western and Great Britain.
Walter was born in Bristol and died there, but was living in Portishead at the time that he exhibited his first known work, 'View from Portishead towards Wales' (1832). This was at the Bristol Institution in 1832, in the first exhibition of the Bristol Society of Artists. He is not known to have been associated with the Bristol School of artists in the 1820s. However surviving sketches suggest that he did take part in the revival of the school's sketching meetings in the 1830s. His drawing technique shows similarities to that of the leading Bristol School artist Samuel Jackson.
Walter's subjects included shipping at Bristol, Southampton, Malta and Saint Lucia. He also portrayed Dutch vessels in the style of the Dutch artists Van de Velde and son, for example in Dutch vessels in a fresh breeze (c. 1851). He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1837, and also at the Society of British Artists.
Our thanks to Michael Naxton for his expertise.
*Bought by the previous owner's father in the late 60s from a dealer as an autograph work.
Verso: a 1986 restorer's label. (The painting was conserved by our restorer in December 2015)
|External Height||32.50 inch||(82.55 cm)|
|External Width||44.00 inch||(111.76 cm)|