HMS Invincible off Osborne House - Watercolour by William Edward Atkins (c.1842-1910)


Depicting the ironclad battleship HMS Invincible firing a salute during summer manoeuvres in The Solent during 1892 while employed as a guardship at Southampton. The Royal Standard flying above Osborne House denotes the Queen being in residence.

Watercolour, signed & dated 1901
Image size: 50.5 cm x 41.8 cm
Overall size including frame: 74.3 cm x 64.8 cm

Framed & glazed in our studio using archival materials

Invincible was built on the Clyde and launched in 1869, serving mostly in the Mediterranean Fleet. After retiring from active service she was renamed Fisgard II and served as a training ship based at Portsmouth Harbour. On 17 September 1914 she was sunk off Portland Bill while under tow with the loss of 21 men.

William Edward Atkins was born in Portsea around 1842, his father George Henry Atkins was also a marine artist and played the organ at St Ann’s chapel within Portsmouth Royal Naval Dockyard. William was probably apprenticed through his father and was already active as an artist in his twenties.

Atkins specialised in naval scenes and ship portraits, often providing officers and seamen with mementos of their ships in the days before photography. During the 1870s he was appointed as the Portsmouth correspondent and marine artist of the eminent weekly illustrated newspaper The Graphic, working from studios at Ordnance Row near to The Hard until 1878, and then at Green Road, Southsea. He died in 1910 and was buried in the Highland Road cemetery, Portsmouth.

Examples of his work can be seen at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich, Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery, and the Royal Collection at Windsor.

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