Seago travelled with Prince Philip aboard HMY Britannia, crossing the Antarctic Circle on 1 January 1957. The present painting depicts The John Biscoe, which the Royal Party transferred to in order to visit the most southerly of the FIDS (Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey, renamed British Antarctic Survey in 1962) research bases on the Antarctic Peninsula. Since HMY Britannia was not ice strengthened she was unable to enter the pack ice herself. The John Biscoe was named after the early nineteenth-century English mariner and explorer who commanded the first expedition known to have sighted the areas named Enderby Land and Graham Land along the coast of Antarctica.
In such works as the present, Seago proved himself more than able to meet the challenges of evoking the particular atmosphere of distant Antarctica - far removed from the rural British countryside for which is best known - and they are a testament to his highly accomplished artistic sensibilities.
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