Wind a beam indistinctly signed (lower left) oil on canvas 50.8 x 91.4cm. (20 x 36in.)
Provenance :- purchased by the present owner's grandfather from an exhibition in Birmingham.
Many of Dawsons own picture titles are tantalizingly vague and this classic work by the consummate painter of the sea is such a one. All yachtsmen will recognise the term wind abeam and know instinctively what it means; in this painting it is patently clear to the experienced eye that the wind is blowing at right angles to an imaginary line running through the yacht, bow to stern, and hence the title. Sadly however, the name of the little cutter is unknown to us and, assuming Dawson painted her from life, it is a pity he chose not to record it.
Two other comparable scenes by Dawson have been published, one in particular (Ramsey 241 titled Winning Tack) being so markedly similar that it may even show the same vessel in a less lively sea. Identifiable or not however, Dawsons affinity for the sea - in all its moods - is what attracts buyers to his work and makes these relatively minor yachting scenes every bit as masterly as his thoroughbred clippers or narrative historical studies.
Literature: 'Montague Dawson, R.S.M.A., F.R.S.A.', L.G.G. Ramsey, Leigh-on-Sea, 1967, see p. 47, catalogue no. 241 (text) & plate 2 (illustrated) for a virtually identical work; and 'The Maritime Paintings of Montague Dawson', Ron Ranson, Newton Abbot, 1993, p. 85 (illustrated) for another similar scene, albeit from a different perspective.