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

'Piazza Maggiore, Florian, and Grand Harbour, from our house, Malta, Jany 1858'

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From the Collection


From an album of watercolours of the Baltic, Mediterranean, Scotland, Switzerland and Burma. This album covers Edward Gennys Fanshawe's Baltic service in command of HMS 'Cossack' during the Crimean War, August 1854 - August 1855, and his brief transfer to the 'Hastings' in the Baltic and latterly at Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, 1855-56, though on her return to England in late 1855 he was invalided ashore until rejoining the ship at Queenstown in January 1856. It also covers his command of the 'Centurion' in the Mediterranean from May 1856 to June 1858, when he was again invalided home. Also included are holiday drawings made in Scotland in 1843 and 1883, Switzerland in 1877 and 1880, and a single drawing of Moulmein, Burma, made in 1846 during his Eastern posting as Commander in the 'Cruizer', 1844-46. No. 26 in Fanshawe's Baltic and later album, 1843 - 83. Fold-out panoramic drawing, on two joined sheets, the right one stuck down on the album page, which bears the artist's caption below the image, as title. Valletta proper is on the left behind the inner fortifications on the Floriana promontory, with ships below in the Grand Harbour. The harbour's seaward entrance is behind the city, between the fort of St Elmo and Fort Ricasoli, of which part can be seen in the distance on the far shore. The next promontory in on the far side bears Fort St Angelo, with British warships lying in Dockyard Creek below it, then Fort St Michael at the head of the Senglea promontory, with French Creek on the far right. The foreground bears an interesting combination of local traffic, on foot and wheeled, with a dizzying perspective drop across the face of the flanking houses far right, which are presumably built inside the outer defence walls of Valletta. Soldiers and a gun are seen below and a pack-train entering through a gate in the walls. Windmills can be seen on the walls far left. The drawing was made while the Mediterranean fleet was stationed for the winter of 1857-58 at Malta, where Fanshawe's wife, Jane, and their young son Evelyn came out to join him. Their older children remained in England and Fanshawe was making applications for a dockyard posting at home to be closer to them: these were unsuccessful. In June 1858, however, after about three months' rheumatic illness (during which time his wife also accompanied him at sea), he was invalided home.
Credit Line: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

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© National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

From the Watercolour World


Grand Harbour, Valletta, Malta