Homeward bound signed 'Montague. Dawson.' (lower left) oil on canvas 49 x 64cm (19 5/16 x 25 3/16in).
PROVENANCE: with Frost & Reed with E. Stacy-Marks Ltd.
Although sadly depicting an unnamed vessel, this sparkling work by Montague Dawson bears all the characteristic hallmarks of the artist. His fascination with the beauty of the great commercial sailing ships of the second half of the nineteenth century is all too evident as this thoroughbred takes full advantage of the fresh breeze, with her stun'sails set so as not to waste a single breath of wind, as she clips through the swell. One senses she must be racing for home rather than outward-bound as her hull sits low in the water, suggesting she is deep-laden, but Dawson gives no clue as to either her cargo or intended destination and there is no distant coastline to indicate her position. Her lines and sail-plan suggest she is one of those classic clipper ships of the mid-century, perhaps engaged in the exotic China Tea trade, but there were many other lucrative forms of employment for these 'ocean greyhounds' long after they had lost their supremacy on the Far East routes to steamships. Whatever her role however, she is clearly a racer and the feeling of speed and strength she radiates is almost palpable.