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Sir William Allan, R.A., P.R.S.A (Edinburgh 1782-1850)
Sir William Allan, R.A., P.R.S.A (Edinburgh 1782-1850)

Four Studies of a Man of War

Sir William Allan, R.A., P.R.S.A (Edinburgh 1782-1850) Four Studies of a Man of War pencil, on paper 6¾ x 9¾ in. (17.2 x 24.7 cm.), and smaller 19th Century (4)

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Lot Essay

Sir William Allan was a friend and contemporary of Sir David Wilkie and his drawing technique, using a combination of black chalk or pencil with touches of red, is similar to Wilkie's. Allan travelled widely, living in Russia and the Ukraine between 1805 and 1814, and visiting Italy and Turkey in 1829 and Spain and Morocco in 1834. His best-known maritime subject is his Battle of Cape Vincent (National Maritime Museum, Greenwich). He returned to Russia in 1844 and painted Peter the Great teaching his Subjects the Art of Shipbuilding for the Czar. This painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1845 and then hung in the Winter Palace of the Hermitage, but is currently untraced (Elizaveta Renne, State Hermitage Museum Catalogue, Sixteenth to Nineteenth Century British Painting, New Haven and London, 2011, p. 26). Since the vessel depicted by Allan in these drawings appears earlier in design than the type of ship that was employed in the Battle of Cape St Vincent, it is possible that the studies are connected with the painting of Peter the Great.

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