A painting showing HMS ‘Alexandra’ leaving the Grand Harbour in Malta. The buildings of Valletta are carefully detailed on the right. Figures in a small Maltese rowing boat can be seen observing the departing ship.
The ‘Alexandra’ was a pre-Dreadnought Battleship and central battery ironclad. Although virtually obsolete at the time of her completion in 1877, she was a flagship for 23 years. In 1878 the ‘Alexandra’ was commanded by Captain Robert Fitzroy through the Dardanelles to Constantinople and in 1882 took part in the bombardment of Alexandria. In 1885 she contributed to a Naval Brigade which operated on the Nile under Captain Lord Charles Beresford. She took part in the battles of Abu Klea, Metemmeh and Wad-Habeshi, and in the relief of Sir Charles Wilson. From 20 May 1887 to 1 July 1887, and from 21 April 1888 to 5 November 1888, HRH Prince George of Wales, later to become King George V, served in this ship as a lieutenant. He was possibly on board during the period commemorated by this painting. In 1890 the ‘Alexandra’ was reconstructed, and re-rigged with fighting tops, but she saw no more active service. In 1908 the ‘Alexandra’ was sold at Devonport.
Where to see this painting?
National Maritime Museum
Not all paintings are on display. If you want to see a particular painting, please contact the collection