William Lionel Wyllie (British, 1851-1931) Dreadnought and Victory, the future and the past, at their moorings in Portsmouth
Lot 137*
William Lionel Wyllie (British, 1851-1931) Dreadnought and Victory, the future and the past, at their moorings in Portsmouth
Sold for £26,250 (US$ 44,079) inc. premium
Auction Details
William Lionel Wyllie (British, 1851-1931) Dreadnought and Victory, the future and the past, at their moorings in Portsmouth
Lot Details
William Lionel Wyllie (British, 1851-1931)
Dreadnought and Victory, the future and the past, at their moorings in Portsmouth
signed and dated 'W L Wyllie 1907' (lower right) and inscribed on artist's label (attached to stretcher)
oil on canvas
56 x 102cm (22 x 40in).

Footnotes

  • EXHIBITED:
    London, Royal Academy, London, 1907, no. 819 as "Dreadnought and Victory"

    In this remarkably shrewd image juxtaposing, as it does, the past with the future, Wyllie depicts the brand-new battleship Dreadnought anchored within hailing distance of Nelson's venerable old Victory in Portsmouth harbour.

    Arguably the world's most famous warship, H.M.S. Victory was already forty years old when she achieved her immortality at the Battle of Trafalgar having been launched in Chatham back in 1765. Badly damaged at Trafalgar, she was first repaired and then extensively refitted in 1808 before returning to sea as flagship to the Baltic Fleet. Eventually paid off in 1812, since 1824 she has served as flagship to the commander-in-chiefs at Portsmouth, a role she fulfilled afloat at a permanent mooring before being dry-docked in 1922.

    By the dawn of the twentieth century, the age of sail had long since made way for the steam age and the ironclad. Technology had advanced apace and, in 1905, Admiral Lord Fisher approved the designs for his new Dreadnought, the first 'all-big-gun' battleship and the warship type which was intended to neutralize, at a stroke, the growing threat from Germany's rapidly expanding naval forces. Laid down at Portsmouth on 2nd October 1905, launched on 10th February 1906 and ready for her trials on 3rd October the same year, her completion in just one year was a truly remarkable achievement. Powered by steam turbines and capable of 21 knots, she was a triumph of innovation and, for a brief period after she entered service with the Home Fleet in April 1907, she outclassed and out-gunned every other ship-of-War in the world.

    Although we shall never know the precise day or date on which this work was executed, it was clearly done very soon after Dreadnought's completion and is probably one of the earliest extant paintings of this iconic ship.
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    Specialist - Marine Art
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