The China Fleet returns to London

The China Fleet returns to London

Mar 21 , 2022

William Daniell was only 16 when he first set sail with his uncle to Calcutta in 1785. A grand adventure for a young man.

Before long, he was a painter of Indian colonial scenes working in watercolour, oils and etchings.

His quality was beautifully described thus "one may almost feel the warmth of an Indian sky, the water seems to be in actual motion and the animals, trees and plants are studies for the naturalist".

Here, Daniell paints in the Romantic style of the day, the famous China Fleet - the annual merchant convoy of the East India Company, here in the Straits of Sunda, between Java and Sumatra and connecting the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean.

The convoy is enroute to Great Britain from Canton in China - safety in numbers from pirates being the order of the day.