Sketchbooks and albums, Fine art, Prints, drawings and watercolours, Admiral Sir Edward Gennys Fanshawe (1814–1906)

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'Fratelli Rocks, June 12th 1856' [Tunisia]

PAI4684
Sketchbooks and albums

Object details:

Object ID PAI4684
Description No. 12 in Fanshawe's Baltic and later album, 1843 - 83. Captioned by the artist on the album page below the image, as title. The view shown is at dusk, looking westward along the Tunisian coast, west of Bizerta. The promontory on the horizon is Cape Serrat and that to the left probably the high ground behind Ras El Goléa. 'Les Fratelli', as they are called in the modern Admiralty 'Mediterranean Pilot' (though more correctly 'I Fratelli', - the brothers), are two prominent rocks just over two miles north-north-east of Ras El Goléa. The larger, called in Arabic El-Akwart-Kebar, is 302 feet (90 m) high and lies to the east: it has two smaller rocks (also shown here) at its foot, and an offlying shoal on its seaward side. The other, El-Akwart-Saghir, is half a mile to the west, with a deep channel between, and is 131 feet (39.9 m) high. The ship is Fanshawe's 84-gun 'Centurion', at this date a brand-new and handsome screw-assisted two-decker, of which he assumed command at Plymouth about 22 May 1856 and took to the Mediterranean until invalided home in June 1858. Her first task, however, with others, was to bring back troops from Constantinople at the end of the Crimean War: for this 'The lower-deck guns were taken out and accommodation for troops fitted in their place, while the ship's company was quartered on the main-deck; captains were ordered to make the passage with the utmost speed. The 'Centurion' left Plymouth during the first days of June and was back at Spithead with troops by July 18th' (Fanshawe [1904], p. 337). Here she is shown in very light wind with all sail set to the royals, and probably also under steam from the funnel smoke, making her eastward passage to the Black Sea. At Constantinople she collected 'about 850 troops, consisting of the head-quarters of the 20th Regiment and some companies of Artillery' (p.343), passing the Fratelli again in the opposite direction in the first week of July.
Date made 12 June 1856

Artist/Maker Fanshawe, Edward Gennys
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials watercolour with scratching out
Measurements Sheet: 111 x 179 mm
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