Alderney is the most northerly of the Channel Islands, located in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy. Queen Victoria visited the island on Sunday 14 August 1859, as part of her Royal Cruise to the Channel Islands. She arrived at the island in the evening and, according to one newspaper report, was greeted by ‘the greatest enthusiasm’. She remained overnight at Alderney, arriving back at her summer home, Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, at 10am the following morning.
The artist of this work, Charles Thomas Burt, may have been on the isle of Alderney at the time, in connection with his involvement in establishing a volunteer rifle regiment in Warwickshire. The Channel Islands’ volunteer Militia has a history dating back to the 14th century.
Landscapist Charles Thomas Burt exhibited 18 works at the Royal Academy, six at the British Institution and six at the Royal Society of British Artists (1846-92). By 1846 he was based in Coventry. In 1895 an exhibition of his oil paintings was held at Graves’ Galleries, Pall Mall. Burt died aged 79, at his home near Birmingham. He was described in an obituary as Colonel Charles T. Burt, ‘one of the best-known landscape artists in the Midlands… widely known as a Volunteer, and as a crack shot, and was for many years captain and a foremost member of the English Twenty [a club restricted to the 20 best shots of the volunteer servicemen], and went with them to America.’ In 1881 he served as commander of the First Warwickshire Rifle Volunteers.
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