A Ship in Open Water by Montague Dawson

  • Montague Dawson presents a dynamic maritime scene in this impressive oil on canvas
  • Dawson's remarkable attention to detail and skill at photorealism bring this scene to life
  • Today, Dawson is regarded as the premier marine painter of the 20th century
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 30-8689

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Montague Dawson
1895-1973 | British

A Ship in Open Water

Signed “Montague Dawson” (lower left)
Oil on canvas

Famous for his highly detailed compositions of ships at sea, Montague Dawson is undoubtedly the greatest marine painter of the 20th century. In A Ship in Open Water, Dawson’s skill at photorealism and his ability to capture dynamic movement are fully evident. With an incredible energy, he perfectly captures the volume of the sails and the vitality of the white capped, churning waves as this impressive vessel effortlessly glides through the water.

The son of a keen yachtsman and grandson of marine painter Henry Dawson (1811-1878), Montague Dawson spent much of his childhood on Southampton Water where he was able to indulge his interest in the study of ships. Naturally gifted at drawing and painting, the self-taught Dawson became a member of an art studio group in Bedford Row, London. By the age of 15, he was working on posters and illustrations to earn a living. For a brief period around 1910, Dawson worked for a commercial art studio in London, but with the outbreak of World War I, he joined the Royal Navy. While serving in the Navy in Falmouth, he met Charles Napier Hemy (1841-1917), who had a considerable influence on his work. Dawson was present at the final surrender of the German Grand Fleet and many of his illustrations depicting the event were published in The Sphere

After the War, Dawson established himself as a professional marine artist, concentrating on historical subjects and portraits of deep-water sailing ships, often in full sail or on high seas. During the Second World War, he was employed as a war artist and again worked for The Sphere. Dawson exhibited regularly at the Royal Society of Marine Artists and the Royal Academy from 1917 to 1936. By the 1930s, he was considered the greatest living marine artist. His patrons included two American Presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson, as well as the British Royal Family. Near the end of his life, it was believed that Dawson was the highest paid painter in the world, second only to Pablo Picasso.

Canvas: 20” high x 30 1/8” wide
Frame: 27 1/2” high x 37 1/2” wide
A Ship in Open Water by Montague Dawson
Maker: Dawson, Montague
Period: 1919-Present
Origin: England
Type: Paintings
Depth: 3.0 Inches
Width: 37.5 Inches
Height: 27.5 Inches
Canvas Width: 30 1/8 Inches
Canvas Height: 20 Inches

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