The Bosphorus, Anglo-French Fleet at Anchor 1854

Joseph Schranz (1803 - )

Oil on canvas

  • About the work
    Country: Turkey
    City: Ankara
    Place: British Embassy

    Joseph Schranz spent 16 years in Constantinople making panoramic views of the Bosphorus which he sold in Pera. He was also appointed as Professor of Drawing at the Military Academy founded by sultan Mahmud II in 1834.

    His painting in the Government Art Collection represents a scene of the British and French fleets on their way to Odessa in March 1854, during the early stages of the Crimean War. The British, French and Turkish fleets anchored in the Bay of Buyukdere in the Bosphorus, strategically within sight of the entrance to the Black Sea, the most direct route from Russia to Constantinople.

    A series of pencil drawings of shipping in the Bosphorus, which are close in composition to this painting, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, were once in the collection of Rodney Searight, a collector of paintings and drawings of the Middle East and Director of Shell. 

  • About the artist
    Josef Schranz was born in Port Máhon, Minorca, to an artistic family who later settled in Malta. He was one of three artist sons of painter Anton Schranz. Little is known of his training, although he was probably taught by his father and may also have studied in Italy. Conversant in four languages, including Arabic, Schranz was well-travelled. However in c.1832 he settled permanently in Constantinople. His preferred techniques were watercolour and lithography and he is particularly associated with topographical panoramas and marine painting. Like his father and brother, he painted for a mainly English clientele, who were drawn to Greek revival styles and Greek subjects. Other works by Schranz are in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
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  • Details
    The Bosphorus, Anglo-French Fleet at Anchor 1854
    Oil on canvas
    height: 87.50 cm, width: 132.50 cm
    Purchased from Christie's, April 1980
    'The Property of a Gentleman'; by whom sold through Christie's, London, 'Important English Pictures' sale, on 11 April 1980 (Lot 9), sold unframed as 'A view of the Bosphorus with the Anglo-French at anchor, and Constantinople beyond'; from which sale purchased by the Department of the Environment
    GAC number