art blog: http://kristinagehrmann.tumblr.com/
Those three guys have become known as the best preserved ice mummies of the 19th century. Petty Officer John Torrington, Private William Braine and Able Seaman John Hartnell were the first casualties of the doomed Franklin Expedition. They all died in a rather short time span of pneumonia, tuberculosis and lead poisoning and were buried next to each other on Beechey Island in the Canadian Arctic. Their gravestones are still there today.
But they did not become famous until they were exhumed by Professor Owen Beattie and his team in 1984.
I've read the account in Beattie's book "Frozen in time" and just had to paint them. How could they have looked when they were alive? All I have as a guide are photographs of the preserved bodies, and until someone exhumes them again there will be only that very limited number of old photos.