Limited edition print from an original etching. Edition size: 49
280 x 200 mm
This is the kind of scene of intense activity at which Wyllie excelled: the world’s first dreadnought battleship - DREADNOUGHT herself – is surrounded by ship and dockyard craft and swarming with activity on the upper deck. A paddle tug, a drifter, a steam picket boat, a ship’s cutter or two pulling around the battleship whilst another one sits off the buoy as the Focsle Party works the cable, and what appear to be several ammunition lighters clustered under Q turret amidships whilst the Gunner’s Party works the derrick. And up on the big tripod foremast there is activity too: it looks as if a wireless aerial is being re-rigged. This etching was possibly executed in the period following DREADNOUGHT’s first commissioning on 1st September 1906 and before she hoisted the flag of the Commander-in-Chief in April 1907: being of an entirely novel concept and design she was the centre of intense interest in the maritime world, would certainly have required the type of dockyard support she appears here to be getting; and she would have made the ideal subject for Wyllie who always seemed to enjoy portraying the latest developments in the fleet, the newest ships.