Lake Fa'una Nui, Leeward Islands, French Polynesia
William Lionel Wyllie
Inscribed, lower right, as title. An unfinished watercolour wash study, of four German ships arriving, with another smaller warship beyond against the land. On Thursday, 12 May 1898, the German battleships 'Kurfürst Friedrich Wilhelm' (1891), 'Brandenburg' (1891), 'Weissenburg' (1891) and 'Wörth' (1892) and the cruiser/despatch vessel 'Hela' (1895) arrived off Greenock on the Clyde from Queenstown (now Cobh, Ireland). They sailed for Kirkwall on Tuesday 17 May 1898. The four battleships are sailing in the order given above with the flagship 'Kurfürst Friedrich Wilhelm' leading. The 'Hela' is presumably the smaller vessel beyond.The now rather offensive title is interesting in demonstrating the anti-German feeling of the period well before the First World War, during the naval arms race of the 1890s that was one of its harbingers - though one cannot now know when Wyllie wrote it.
Credit Line: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection
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