The English Fleet Anchored at the Town of Beykoz, North of Istanbul

Anton Melbye Danish

Not on view

Originally hoping to become a sailor, Melbye instead specialized in marine painting under the guidance of Eckersberg. Unlike his teacher, he sought most of his subjects abroad, where he spent a large part of his life. This striking drawing shows an English fleet anchored off Beykoz, a northern district of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul) on the Anatolian side of the Bosporus Strait. Beykoz played an important role in the Crimean War (1853–56) because of its strategic position at the entrance to the Black Sea from the Mediterranean. Melbye captured a quiet moment at the very beginning of the conflict, before the Ottoman Empire and its allies, France and the United Kingdom, defeated Russia.

The English Fleet Anchored at the Town of Beykoz, North of Istanbul, Anton Melbye (Danish, Copenhagen 1818–1875 Paris), Graphite and charcoal

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