HMS REVENGE Coming out of a Squall, 1924
(MP039). Charles Pears (1873-1958). Oil painting signed not dated..
Limited Edition: 300
Standard size 18.5 x 20ins (47 x 51cm) approx.
Price band: Paper: Reduced to £90; Canvas £200-235. Both paper and canvas can be enlarged considerably: this is a stunning painting!
This magnificent bow view of REVENGE gives some idea of just how massive and seemingly impregnable these leviathans were. Not that REVENGE and her sisters (ROYAL OAK, RAMILLIES, REVENGE, and ROYAL SOVEREIGN) were by any means the biggest of them, for at 28,000 tons displacement and 624 feet long, they were slightly smaller than the Queen Elizabeths who preceeded them, and much smaller than the Nelsons, King George Vs and VANGUARD who followed them.
They were a good couple of knots slower than the QEs too. Together with ROYAL OAK these were the only ships of the class completed in time for the Battle of Jutland, and there is a salty story (to do with the ghostly rattle of Sir Francis Drake's drums clearly being heard onboard REVENGE at the height of the battle) about the battleship (the 9th of the name in the Royal Navy) which survives to this day ...... Having fought at Jutland and been worked hard throughout the Great War, by 1924 from when this picture dates, the battleship was part of the British Mediterranean Fleet based in Malta and under the command of Captain Gilbert Stephenson. She is flying from the fore the flag of Rear Admiral 1st Battle Squadron, Rear Admiral W A H Kelly CB CMG MVO a hugely charismatic officer who went on to become one of the 'Fabulous Admirals' of the interwar years. Well over 6 feet tall, of magnificent appearance and larger than life in every respect he was seen by many as a potential First Sea Lord. But a combination of his overbearing nature, a healthy disregard for authority, a withering tongue and a refreshing impetuosity and schoolboyish sense of fun saw him finish his career as Commander-in-Chief China Station....
Charles Pears is well known for his clear, uncluttered compositions and bold, vigorous and colourful brushwork. In 1939 he became the first President of what is now the Royal Society of Marine Artists, from whom the copyright of this painting has been obtained. The owners of the picture are the Naval Club of Mayfair who were presented with it by the artist himself.