Saturday, June 20, 2015


Montague Dawson R.S.M.A., F.R.S.A. - 1890-1973
signed l.l.: MONTAGUE DAWSON; titled and inscribed on stretcher: TIMARU A NEW ZEALAND CLIPPER 1036 TONS BUILT IN 1874
oil on canvas
61 by 91.5cm., 24 by 36in.

Timaru was an iron full-rigged skysail yarder, built by Scott of Greenock on the River Clyde and launched in December during the harsh winter of 1874. It was commissioned by Patrick Henderson & Co of the Albion Line along with her sister-ships Oamaru; Dunedin; Auckland. At this time full-rigged sailing ships were still being built in Scotland but steam-ships were beginning to replace them. The ship was initially named the Scotia but was later re-named Timaru in honour of the port in New Zealand, whose Rowing Club was founded in the same year as the ship’s launch. Measuring 239 feet in length it had a capacity to hold five-hundred passengers on the emigration route to the New World. It was later converted with a refrigeration system so that it could be used to transport frozen meat - particularly lamb - from New Zealand. More

Montague Dawson RMSA, FRSA (1890–1973) was a British painter who was renowned as a maritime artist. His most famous paintings depict sailing ships, usually clippers or warships of the 18th and 19th centuries. He was the son of a keen yachtsman and the grandson of the marine painter, born in Chiswick, London. Much of his childhood was spent on Southampton Water where he was able to indulge his interest in the study of ships.In 1924 Dawson was the official artist for an Expedition to the South Seas by the steam yacht St.George. During the expedition he provided illustrated reports to the Graphic magazine.

After the War, Dawson established himself as a professional marine artist, concentrating on historical subjects and portraits of deep-water sailing ships often in stiff breeze or on high seas. During the Second World War, he was employed as a war. Dawson exhibited regularly at the Royal Society of Marine Artists, of which he became a member, from 1946 to 1964, and occasionally at the Royal Academy between 1917 and 1936. By the 1930s he was considered one of the greatest living marine artists. Dawson is noted for the strict accuracy in the nautical detail of his paintings.

The work of Montague Dawson is represented in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich and the Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth.