© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND
© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London | Licence: CC BY-NC-ND

'Andes, Aconcagua Peak distant 170 miles, June 18th 1849'

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From the Collection


No. 7 in Fanshawe's Pacific album, 1849 - 52. Captioned by the artist on the album page below the image, as title. A drawing by Fanshawe recording his approach to Valparaiso in the 'Daphne', shown to the right. He wrote to his wife later on the 18th: 'This morning at daylight, we saw the whole range of the Andes, stretching from the Peak of Aconcagua southwards.. The atmosphere was so clear, that at first the land was reported to be in sight about 20 miles off, and this was Aconcagua, 22,300 feet high, and distant 170 miles. As I was looking I saw the edge of this beautiful cone become suddenly a bright gold colour, which gradually became more brilliant, and stretched along the top of the range to the right, and in two minutes the uppermost point of the sun appeared, then the whole orb, and Aconcagua vanished. However, as the day advanced we.. saw the whole range between Aconcagua and Peteroa volcanoes as clearly as if they had been cut out of pasteboard, though its distance varied from 170 to 130 miles..' (Fanshawe [1904] p.174). Aconcagua is in fact 22,481 ft (6962 m), the highest mountain in the Andes, the Americas, and the highest outside Asia. It is roughly east of Valparaiso, Chile (at this time base of the British Pacific squadron), but is itself in the Argentine province of Mendoza. From an album of watercolours of Madeira, Brazil, the Falkland and Pacific Islands, Chile, Panama, Mexico, Vancouver, and California. It covers Fanshawe's commission in command of HMS 'Daphne' 1848-52, on the Pacific station based at Valparaiso, Chile, under Rear-Admiral Phipps Hornby in the 84-gun 'Asia'. The earliest dated drawing is of Madeira, 1 January 1849 on the way out, and the last of Cape Horn on the return, 28 May 1852. For further details, see collection online record.

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© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

From the Watercolour World


Aconcagua, Mendoza Province, Argentina