Anton Schranz specialised in painting landscapes and seascapes in the Mediterranean. He lived most of his life in Minorca and Malta where he found patronage amongst British naval officers who bought his works as topographical souvenirs. The subject of the present picture, HMS Caledonia, was a 120-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy launched on 25th June 1808 at Plymouth and was Admiral Pellew’s flagship in the Mediterranean. She proved to be a very successful ship, and it was said that 'This fine three-decker rides easy at her anchors, carries her lee ports well, rolls and pitches quite easy, generally carries her helm half a turn a-weather, steers, works and stays remarkably well, is a weatherly ship, and lies-to very close.' On 12 February 1814 she took part with HMS Boyne in action against the French ship of the line Romulus off Toulon and later in 1831 she was part of the Experimental Squadron of the Channel Fleet under Sir Edward Codrington. In 1856 Caledonia was converted to a hospital ship and renamed Dreadnought, becoming the second floating Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital at Greenwich where she remained until 1870. She was broken up in 1875. Caledonia was in Port Mahon in August 1837 and this work was probably commissioned by one of the naval officers aboard.
Christie's, anonymous sale, 21st November 1975, lot 43 - The Property of a Nobleman