The official title of this painting at the 1917 exhibition was: Steame ships sunk by SMS Novarra in the port of San Giovanni di Medua. Historical context: In 1915 Serbian troops occupied the Albanian port of Shëngjin(i) in Italian San Giovanni di Medua, whereupon the port was attacked by the k.u.k. fleet on December 5, 1915 and several ships (steamers and sailing ships) were sunk by shelling from the SMS Novarra and other k.u.k. warships. Adams documented these sunk ships in April 1916, as did his war press quarters colleague and friend Karl Ludwig Prinz (see cross-references).
The painting was sold in 1917 right at the exhibition (for 1500 crowns to a Mr. Bela i Baghi), but has since been lost. A related sketch entitled Sunk Steamers (see cross-references) was also exhibited and was purchased for 800 crowns by the Viennese cafetier and art collector Josef Siller, a work that is also lost and was most likely destroyed by bomb hits on the Cafe Stiller in 1945.
The port of San Giovanni di Medua 1916 photo (Vienna State Archive).
Identical motive, painting by Karl Ludwig Prinz 1916.
Sketch Sunk Steamers for the present painting (no picture available).
1917 Künstlerhaus Vienna exhibition John Quincy Adams No. 38 (KH EL 61 1916/17 #531).
APH, catalog raisonné JQA 1995,
p. 53 cat.#22 fig.#12, there incorrectly dated as 1903 and described as harbor study Volendam (NL).
1917 purchase at the exhibition by Mr. Bela i Baghi.
Since then lost.