W. L. Wyllie’s Drawings at the National Maritime Museum

Location:

London

Year:

2019

PAE2482 Profile portrait of a man in a red turban and blue tunic.jpg
PAE2479 Portrait of a man in North African dress by the sea.jpg

A research and interpretation project was conducted on 3 watercolour drawings by William Lionel Wyllie (1851-1931) from the National Maritime Museum collection, requested by the museum curators.  

Object accession numbers:

PAE2431, PAE2482, PAE2479

Key research findings:

The selected watercolour drawings shine a light on the individuals Wyllie may have encountered in his lifetime, who were often overlooked in the maritime history, particularly the lascars. Combining existing literature, visual records from Marine Photo Services, and examining the drawings with iconology, the report has identified the subjects through the costumes and suggested Wyllie’s possible encounters with each of the character. It has proposed two ways to interpret the drawings in the museum context, noting the challenge of working with incomplete archival records, the complications of the lascars narrative, yet also the benefit and reasons in engaging the wider communities presented in the United Kingdom.

Article available by request.