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The original full title of this painting, under which it was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1895, is 'They forged the last link with their lives: HMS ‘Erebus’ and ‘Terror’, 1849–1850' (the dates being artist's guesswork). It was the first and apparently most dramatic of only four works that Smith exhibited there and is probably the best known of various paintings prompted by the fiftieth anniversary of the departure of Sir John Franklin's ill-fated Arctic expedition from Britain in 1845.
oil on canvas
H 121.9 x W 208.2 cm
W. Thomas-Smith. 95