US Frigate Constitution Coming into Malta, 1849
This watercolor and gouache painting shows USS Constitution arriving in Malta in 1849. Malta served as a regular port stop for the Constitution during the Mediterranean cruises. In 1849, the ship visited Malta en route to Alexandria, Egypt, where it would deliver Daniel Smith McCauley to serve as the first U.S. consul general to Egypt.
The painting shows Constitution sailing on a lively sea, with wind filling the sails and billowing through the flags. Small figures are visible in the upper parts of the ship’s masts. Another, smaller sailboat is visible to the left of the Constitution, and a barrel rolls in the waves beside it. The fortifications of the island of Malta are visible in the landscape behind the Constitution. The identification of the ship and its location is proven by the label that accompanies the painting, which reads “U.S. Frigate Constitution … coming into Malta 1849.”