Archive for November 18, 2012

Artist of the moment….Fantastic painter of the sea Montague Dawson….

In the gallery the first painting is by Henry Dawson, the artist’s grandfather. The second painting is by Charles Napier Hemy. The third painting from top is by John Stobart. The rest of the paintings are by Montague Dawson.


Montague Dawson was born in Chiswick, London in 1895 . He is my favorite British painter of marine works from the United Kingdom. J.M.W. Turner is also a great painter marine paintings, but his are slightly more impressionistic. Both do a great job of capturing the atmosphere and the many greys of the English skies. Dawson was born into a family of painters of marine works much like the Gruppe family in the United States. Both had multiple generations of professional painters.

Below is a work by Henry Dawson, Montague Dawson’s grandfather, who was highly collected in England¬† and lived from 1811 to 1878. This spectacular seascape brings us to Venice and was painted in the last year of his life.

In this clip a representative from an auction house talks about a painting done by Montague dealing the America’s Cup race titled “The Sporting Contest.”

Dawson grew up studying the local areas of Southampton, learning to paint seascapes. Whilst he was fifteen he was employed by a commercial art studio in London. Then came the first world war and Dawson entered the Royal Navy. In the Navy he befriended another well known British marine painter named Charles Hemy. Below is a work by Charles Napier Hemy. Hemy has two works included in the Tate Museum of Art in London.

In 1924 he was employed as the official artist of an Expedition to the South Seas. He also illustrated for Graphic magazine. During the second world war he found work as a war artist.

Eventually Montague Dawson was considered the best painter of marine works in England and he had well known patrons such as the British Royal family and American Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The artist passed away in 1973.

Price range info: Montague Dawson worked in watercolors which range from $5,000 to  $25,000. Lithographs start at a few hundred dollars. Oils can range from $5,000 to $420,000.

In this clip view a montage of the artist’s wonder marine paintings.

What modern painter does the artist remind me of? No question John Stobart. Stobart is the most sought after living marine artist having works easily reach six figures. He works both in plein air and also makes longer studies. You may have seen a series of his on PBS where he painted with other artists such as Charles Movalli, Michael Karas, and Erik Jacobsen. Very inspirational and loaded with tips for painting out of doors. Below is a great example of a John Stobart marine painting.

Montague Dawson is without a doubt my favorite deceased painter of marine works from England. You can tell this was an artist who was in love with the sea and coast. What a pedigree for a marine artist. Grandfather a well known painter, his father a yachtsman, he studied under Charles Hemy, and served in the Royal Navy. Montague Dawson can surely provide some inspiration when you are working on your next marine painting! What a painter of reflected light on water!