Artist captures feel of the Antarctic

SUE SKINNER Paintings which captured a voyage by the Duke of Edinburgh to the Antarctic half a century ago are to go on show in London from May 28 to June 15.

SUE SKINNER

Paintings which captured a voyage by the Duke of Edinburgh to the Antarctic half a century ago are to go on show in London from May 28 to June 15.

The works, from Prince Philip's private collection, have rarely been seen in public but will be put on

display at auctioneers Bonhams in London.

Norwich-born artist Edward Seago joined the Duke on his expedition aboard HMY Britannia to the Falkland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula in 1956-1957.

His images depict the icebergs and the storms they encountered in the hostile environment, as well as Port Stanley harbour, Shackleton's Cross, ice floes and the royal vessel's passage through the Neumayer and Lemaire Channels.

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One picture shows Prince Philip painting on the veranda deck of Britannia.

The Duke once said of Seago's work: “He always seemed to have a pencil in his hand and with just a few lines could reproduce all the atmosphere and feel of a place with the smallest pencil sketch.”

The Bonhams exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the tour of the Antarctic and also marks the publication of a new book, The Antarctic Paintings of Edward Seago.

It will support an appeal in aid of the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, to help preserve Britain's polar heritage.

Seago, who died in 1974, used oils and watercolours and was known for his landscapes and marine views.

The results of his travels with the royal party were displayed at St James's Palace in 1957.

The journey was one of two round-the-world voyages Prince Philip made in the former Royal Yacht Britannia and took him away from the Queen for four months.

During that time, the Duke became a dedicated twitcher, having been captivated by the seabirds flying round the yacht in the South Pacific and South Atlantic.

He also hosted a reception in the Antarctic on Britannia for the lonely scientists of the survey base on Deception Island, which included a screening of the musical classic, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

The exhibition, Edward Seago - the Antarctic Paintings, runs at Bonhams from May 28 until June 15.

t www.bonhams.com

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