The Pirate's Cove, Wafer Bay, Cocos Island
(1895 - 1973)
The Pirate's Cove, Wafer Bay, Cocos Island
Oil on canvas
40 x 50 inches

Mr. Arthur Leidesdorf, United States
Frost & Reed, London, 1976
Private collection, United States
Private collection, Georgia
Rehs Galleries, Inc., New York City
Private collection

Montague Dawson was unquestionably one of the greatest sea painters of the 20th century.  Born in Chiswick, London, to a family of sea-farers; his father was an engineer, yachtsman and artist, while his grandfather, Henry Dawson, was a well known Victorian sea and landscape artist.  It is said that he completed his first painting by the time he was five years old. 

At an early age, Montague moved with his family from Chiswick to Smuggler’s House, Southampton, in order to be closer to the sea.  The family not only owned their own cutters, but participated in many boating events.

Dawson was a basically a self-taught artist, but in 1910 he joined an art studio in Bedford Row, London, that produced posters and illustrations.  In 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, Dawson enlisted in the Royal Navy.  As an Officer he became closely associated with Officer Charles Napier Hemy – the great maritime artist.  Hemy became Dawson’s tutor and, as such, had a profound influence on his work.

Throughout WWI and WWII, Dawson supplied the magazine Sphere with monochrome illustrations of historical events of the wars.  It is notable that Sphere devoted an entire issue to Dawson’s portrayal of the German Grand Fleet’s surrender in WWI.  It was these illustrations that brought him the notoriety necessary to secure his place as a highly regarded painter / illustrator of historical maritime subjects and portraits of deep-water sailing vessels.

From the 1920s, until his death, Dawson was represented exclusively by art dealers.  Through them he became known as king of the Clipper-Ship School and was appreciated for his uncanny ability to orchestrate the interrelationship of sky, sea and vessel.

In the 1930s he lived at Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire and until the mid 1960s exhibited regularly at the Society of Marine Artists, where he was elected a member.  Dawson was also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an occasional exhibiter at the Royal Academy from 1916 – 1936.

His works were collected by such notable individuals as Sir Thomas Sopwith, Queen Elizabeth, Mr. Vanderbilt and President Eisenhower, among others.

During his life Dawson donated 10 of his paintings to the Imperial War Museum and additional works can be seen in the collections of the Tyne and Wear Museums; National Maritime Museum, Greenwich; Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth and The Mariners’ Museum, Salem, MA.

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BONHEUR, ROSA (1822 - 1899)Couching Lion
BOUDIN, EUGENE LOUIS (1824 - 1898)La bassin, Deauville
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CHAIGNEAU, JEAN F. (1830 - 1906)Le Jardin de l'Artiste
CHOULTSE, IVAN F. (b.1877)Nuit de Mars, Russie
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COALE, GRIFFITH BAILEY (1890 - 1950)The Baltimore Flower Mart - 1915
COROT, JEAN-BAPTISTE-CAMILLE (1796 - 1875)Pâturage dans les marais (Souvenir des environs d'Amiens)
CORTÈS, EDOUARD LEON (1882 - 1969)The Breton Family
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DIÉTERLE, MARIE (1856 - 1935)Troupeau dans un chemin creux
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DUPRE, JULIEN (1851 - 1910)La Prairie
DUPRE, JULIEN (1851 - 1910)Glaneuses
ELSLEY, ARTHUR J. (1860 - 1952)Good Night
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KNIGHT, DANIEL RIDGWAY (1839 - 1924)A Pensive Moment
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LUNY, THOMAS (1759 - 1837)Engagement Between Sir George Brydges Rodney and the Spanish Squadron, Commanded by Don Juan de Langara, Near Cape St. Vincent, January 16, 1780
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MOSTYN, TOM (1864 - 1930)Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May
MUNIER, EMILE (1840 - 1895)La retour du marché
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PERUGINI , CHARLES EDWARD (1839-1918)The Green Lizard
RIGOLOT, ALBERT GABRIEL (1862 - 1932)Soleil Levant dans la Brume
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