The view is of Grand Harbour from Corradino looking towards Valletta on the left and Senglea to the right. There is a watercolour by Giovanni Schranz of the same view (see Mdina Cathedral Exhibition, The Schranz Artists, Malta, 1987, pl. 23), which was itself the basis for one of a series of lithographs drawn by Giovanni and his brother Antonio, entitled Twelve views of Malta/drawn from nature/and published by/Schranz Brothers. Malta 1843.
Dominic Cutajar, Curator, National Museum of Fine Arts, Malta compares our picture with a work in the Fine Arts Museum, entitled HMS Alfred leaving the Grand Harbour.
Ian Bouskill suggests that our picture is a companion to HMS Howe at Malta about 1848 at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, (see E. H. H. Archibald, Dictionary of Sea Painters, Woodbridge, 1989, pl. 359). 'This 120 gun first-rate was laid down in 1808 and was the first ship to be built with diagonal timbers. She is shown when in the Mediterranean on a commission as a private ship (that is, independent of a squadron) 1847-50'.
We are grateful to Ian Bouskill for his assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.