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The Battlecruiser H.M.S. Indomitable, 1911
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The Battlecruiser H.M.S. Indomitable, 1911

Measurements: Overall: 32cm (12.5in) x 39.5cm (15.5in)

£1575

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Watercolour on paper. Signed ‘William Frederick Mitchell’ and dated 1911. Image 16cm (6.25in) x 24cm (9.5in). Framed and glazed.

H.M.S. Indomitable was one of three Invincible-class battlecruisers built for the Royal Navy before the Great War. She was launced in 1907 and hurriedly commissioned in June 1908 so that she could carry the Prince of Wales to Canada. She cut short a refit at Malta in 1914 to take part in Admiral Sir Archibald Berkerley Milne’s pursuit of the German ships Goeben and Breslau. Indomitable bombarded Turkish fortifications protecting the Dardanelles, and helped to sink the German armoured cruiser Blücher during the Battle of Dogger Bank. She damaged the German battlecruisers Seydlitz and Derfflinger during the Battle of Jutland in mid-1916 and watched her sister ship H.M.S. Invincible sink in 90 seconds after being by three salvoes. Indomitable was decommissioned in 1921

William Frederick Mitchell (1845-1914) was a deaf mute. He lost his hearing to scarlet fever in infancy. His father, an H.M. Coastguard stationed at Calshot Castle, taught him to speak. William, known as Fred, developed a career as a maritime artist. He lived most of his life around the Solent and had an arrangement with a Portsmouth bookshop which accepted commissions on his behalf, mostly from naval officers for portraits of their ships. Indeed Admiral Berkely Milne was a patron Fred Mitchell having commissioned a series of watercolours to illustrate his career. Fred also illustrated the Brassey’s Naval Annual.  In 1904 he recorded in The Messenger, a magazine for deaf people, his marriage in 1881 and that he settled at Ryde on the Isle of Wight, where his patrons included Queen Victoria, Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich and The Kaiser. His work can be found in the Royal Collection and the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
 

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