some more of MONTAGUE DAWSON’S beautiful, powerful paintings. I quote from an article about his work – DAWSON’S quick, controlled brushwork gives life to his paintings, and combined with his rigorous attention to nautical details makes them instantly truthful and appealing. he researched carefully for a painting and never knowingly left an inaccuracy uncorrected even for the sake of artistic effect. the rigging, for example, is painted with minutest care, not merely in physical detail, but also in the relative tension of the ropes and intricate shadows and patterns. he would often work quickly on a picture, completing in one session a work, which up until that point might have occupied many weeks. to him, marine painting combined the freedom of landscape painting with the disciplines of portraiture. the elements may be imaginatively painted but the ship must be a likeness both in detail and in character. ‘you must be quite certain that she is sailing with the wind in the proper quarter – if she is on port tack, you must make sure the sails are filled from the port tack.’
the strong narrative elements in DAWSON’S work are especially appealing. his paintings recreate, often with deep affection and knowledge, moments of drama and history, which seem to leap across the intervening centuries. he ranged widely for his subjects, recording the BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR, moments from AMERICAN WAR OF INDEPENDENCE, the return of the CUTTY SARK, and very often the races between the tea clippers returning to london from china.
© montague dawson