MONTAGUE DAWSON is probably the best known sea painter of the twentieth century. he was born 1895 in chiswick, one of the suburbs of london. early his family moved to southampton, where dawson spent his time fishing, sailing and watching the great ships of the world anchoring in the harbor. his grandfather was HENRY DAWSON, a very successful landscape artist in his time. the grandson seemed to be destined to become a painter early on, he always knew how to draw and to use color. though he never went to art school, he took every opportunity of looking at paintings and absorbing the methods of the masters. after WW1 dawson became a professional painter and illustrator and was already in 1930 established among the leading marine painters, with increasingly important commissions, like from the royal family and the american presidential collections. dawson was extremely industrious often working seven days a week. his fame grew to such an extent that his wife and daughter spent much of their time shielding him from an admiring public. he would take upto three weeks to complete one picture and would not start a new one until the current one was finished. dawson’s controlled and quick brushwork gives life to his paintings, and the incredible attention to nautical details is stunning. as he said about his paintings – you really are there, you can hear the sea. montague dawson died in 1973, he was a master of his genre, the like of which we may never see again.
© montague dawson