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FINISHED – Battle of Jutland
The Grand Fleet arrives in time for Battle of Jutland Commemorations.
We are delighted to announce we have acquired ‘The Grand Fleet in the Firth of Forth after the Armistice’ by William Lionel Wyllie R.A., as part of the Museum’s ambitious strategy to create a nationally significant art collection.
The oil on canvas by William Lionel Wyllie (1851-1931) has been acquired under the Museum’s bold SMMart: Enriching the Imagery of Scotland’s Maritime Heritage programme.
The Grand Fleet (painted in 1920) will go on show in time for the UK-wide centenary commemorations of the Battle of Jutland on Tuesday 31st May. It will be displayed as part of a small exhibition commemorating the Battle of Jutland and World War One within the Museum’s Boatshop on the Harbourside.
The painting depicts the largest gathering of war ships in history, both before and since, on 21 November 1918, two years after Jutland and 10 days after the Armistice.
It is believed to show the moment when the Grand Fleet of 370 warships and 90,000 men advanced on Germany’s armada of 70 vessels, escorting them to temporary anchorage 40 miles east of the Isle of May before their removal to Scapa Flow, Orkney.
Fiona Carmichael, Curator of Art at the Scottish Maritime Museum, says:
“We are thrilled to have acquired a major artwork by one of the leading British marine artists of the late nineteenth century. A Royal Academician, Wyllie’s paintings are highly regarded and held by national museums such as the Tate Collection, Royal Academy, Imperial War Museum and National Maritime Museum.
As a painting which depicts such an important historical moment and one which took place in Scotland, The Grand Fleet is a wonderful addition to our growing art collection.”
Wyllie’s work is the eighth artwork in the new collection, which complements and enriches the nationally recognised collection of maritime heritage.