Francis S Smitheman 1927 - 2016, English 20th Century Oil on Canvas 'HMS Victory' signed lower left Smitheman. 60 x 90cm approx. Vendor was a personal friend of Frances Smitheman and purchased all of his paintings directly from his studio. His works are to be found in many private collections, on board ships and in museums. His later career included lecturing at graduate level and a number of years designing for the theatre. Smitheman's work is notable for the series of paintings he has undertaken on a number of themes,including Sea Battles, the Port of London, Arctic Exploration, Working Ports and Epic Voyages. Much travelled he consulted curators, ships' captains, and marine archaeologists gathering evidence in order to create genuine 'history paintings'. Working with ships' trusts and museums he re-created many of the world's greatest historic ships in their legendary settings. His work has now travelled world wide, not only as finished paintings but also on a series of postage stamps. Eleven countries (Ascension Island, Nauru, British India Ocean Territory, Tristan da Cunha, Gibraltar, Kiribati, Bahamas, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, St.Helena and Jamaica) marked 200 years since the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 by issuing commemorative stamps incorporating detail from Smitheman's painting "Victory leading the line at the Battle of Trafalgar". The British fleet under Horatio Nelson defeated the combined fleets of France and Spain, blocking their attempt to clear the way for Napoleon's projected invasion of Britain. An unique feature of the stamps is that the wooden hull and spars in the image actually contain tiny quantities of wood from the original Victory. Ironically the stamps were printed by a specialist French company.