Thomas Bowler arrived at the Cape in 1834 and within a decade had established himself as the leading artist in the colony. His first prints were published in 1844, the year this watercolour was painted. He repeatedly returned to the subject of Simon’s Town in his
thirty-five years at the Cape, a time when Simon’s Town served as the point of call for the British navy. In this view, the hospital is to be seen on the left and Admiralty House on the right. Bowler published a similar view as a print in 1845 (FR Bradlow, Thomas Bowler: his life and work,
Cape Town, 1967, LP8).
This previously unpublished watercolour remained in an album of Anglo-Indian watercolours until recently, which would account for its exceptional state of preservation.