Oil on canvas, 49.6cm by 91.4cm. Signed l.l.: AW Fowles. Inscribed on reverse ” The Queen of Palmyra Steam Yacht. The first vessel to meet the returning Arctic Expedition off the (habr light?)-Nov 2-1876. A W Fowles 1876. The property of The Most Noble The Marquis of Exeter Commodore of the R.V.Y. Club-Ryde.”
The Queen of Palmyra was one of several yachts owned, at various times, by William Alleyne, 3rd Marquess of Exeter (1825-1895). He sailed to the South of France in her each year, where he would spend several weeks. The artist was born in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. He trained as a plumber, but had a natural talent for drawing and from 1851, and entirely self taught, he became a marine artist.