The Blackwall Frigate, Walmer Castle by Montague Dawson
The Blackwall Frigate, Walmer Castle by Montague Dawson The Blackwall Frigate, Walmer Castle by Montague Dawson The Blackwall Frigate, Walmer Castle by Montague Dawson The Blackwall Frigate, Walmer Castle by Montague Dawson The Blackwall Frigate, Walmer Castle by Montague Dawson
The Blackwall Frigate, Walmer Castle by Montague Dawson

The Blackwall Frigate, Walmer Castle by Montague Dawson

  • Montague Dawson presents a dynamic maritime scene in this impressive oil on canvas
  • The highly detailed work captures the famed British trading vessel Walmer Castle
  • The powerful drama of the work is enhanced by Dawson's masterful composition
  • Today, Dawson is regarded as the premier marine painter of the 20th century
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Item No. 30-8530
$398,500
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Montague Dawson
1895-1973 | British

The Blackwall Frigate, Walmer Castle

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

Considered the master of marine painting and famous for his highly detail compositions, Montague Dawson is undoubtedly the greatest marine painter of the 20th century. In The Blackwall Frigate, Walmer Castle, 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 famed vessel effortlessly glides through the water.

The famed Walmer Castle, a three-masted full-rigged ship colloquially known as a Blackwall frigate, was ordered by Green's of London for their extensive fleet of Indian trading ships. First launched in 1855, the Walmer Castle sported a full ship rig, weighing 1,064 tons and measuring 193 feet in length. She proved a highly successful trading vessel, enjoying over a decade of regular sailings to Melbourne, Calcutta, Madras and China. The ship was even once chartered by the British government to take troops to India during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. On Christmas Day in 1876, the Walmer Castle's career came to an end when she caught fire while loading cargo at Samarang (Java). Yet, this composition captures the ship in her heyday, soaring across the waves with sails at full mast.

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: 40” high x 50” wide
Frame: 47 3/4” high x 57 3/4” wide
specifications
Artist: Dawson, Montague
Framed:58 1/4"W x 47 3/4"H
Unframed:50"W x 40"H
Period: 1919-Present
Origin:England
Subject:Marine
Width:58 1/4 Inches
Height:47 3/4 Inches
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