Derek G.M. Gardner was one of the finest British maritime painters of the twentieth century. He served as an officer in the Royal Navy during World War II and, in 1942, was mentioned in dispatches for his distinguished service, when the destroyer H.M.S. Broke was sunk in the Mediterranean. As an entirely self-taught painter his was a most prodigious talent, his success lying in his ability to portray ships with great accuracy, whilst also conveying the colour, luminosity and drama of the wind and sea.