Montague Dawson, (1890–1973)

The British Clipper Ship Thermopylae

Watercolor and gouache on paper

16 1/4 x 26 in.

Private Collection

Thermopylae was an extreme composite clipper ship built in 1868 by Walter Hood & Co of Aberdeen, to the design of Bernard Waymouth of London. In 1872, Thermopylae raced the clipper Cutty Sark from Shanghai back to London. Thermopylae won by seven days after Cutty Sark lost her rudder. From 1882 onward, Thermopylae took part in the Australian wool trade; however, on this route Cutty Sark proved faster.

In 1897 she was sold to Portugal for use as a naval training ship and renamed Pedro Nunes. On 13 October 1907, the Portuguese Navy towed her down the Tagus river using two warships, and before Amelia de Orleans, Queen of Portugal, she was torpedoed with full naval honours off Cascais. More on Thermopylae 

Montague Dawson, (1890–1973)

The British Clipper Ship Thermopylae


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. Montague was the son of a keen yachtsman and the grandson of the marine painter Henry Dawson (18111878), 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. For a brief period around 1910 Dawson worked for a commercial art studio in Bedford Row, London, but with the outbreak of the First World War he joined the Royal Navy. Whilst serving with the Navy in Falmouth he met Charles Napier Hemy (18411917), who considerably influenced his work. 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. During the Second World War, he was employed as a war artist. 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, whose patrons included two American Presidents, Dwight D Eisenhower and Lyndon B Johnson, as well as the British Royal Family. Also in the 1930s, he moved to Milford-Upon-Sea in Hampshire, living there for many years. Dawson is noted for the strict accuracy in the nautical detail of his paintings which often sell for six figures.

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

Herbert James Draper, 1863-1920


Oil on canvas

 38.5 by 101.5cm., 23 by 40in.

Private Collection

The present picture illustrates an episode from Ovid’s Odyssey as the ship commanded by Odysseus and his men on their return to Ithaca from the Trojan wars, incurs the anger of Poseidon following Odysseus’ slaying of Poseidon’s son, the cyclops Polyphemus. The men struggle against the foaming waters, grappling with the steering oar at the stern and attempting to lower the sails to prevent the ship from capsizing.

The Wrath of the Sea God was the second of a series of classical nautical paintings painted by Draper around the turn of the century. In 1894 he had achieved his first major public success with a painting entitled The Sea Maiden (below), a dramatic scene set on board a fishing-boat as a sea-nymph is hauled aboard in the nets. This picture established Draper’s reputation as a painter of narratives beside the sea, and more specifically on board ships.

Herbert James Draper,  (1863–1920)

The Sea Maiden, c. 1894

Oil on canvas

120 x 217.5 cm. (47.2 x 85.6 in.)

 Formerly in the collection of the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truror,

Herbert James Draper (1863 – 1920) was an English Classicist painter whose career began in the Victorian era and extended through the first two decades of the 20th century. Born in London, the son of a jeweller, he was educated at Bruce Castle School in Tottenham and then went on to study art at the Royal Academy. He undertook several educational trips to Rome and Paris between 1888 and 1892, having won the Royal Academy Gold Medal and Travelling Studentship in 1889. In the 1890s, he worked as an illustrator, eventually settling in London. He died of arteriosclerosis at the age of 56, in his home on Abbey Road. More on Herbert James Draper

Terrick Williams, 1860-1936


Oil on canvas

 35.5 by 61cm., 14 by 24in.

Private Collection

Concarneau (meaning Bay of Cornwall) is a commune in the Finistère department of Brittany in north-western France. It is a walled town on a long island in the center of the harbour. Historically, the town was a centre of shipbuilding and is France’s third most important fishing port. More on Concarneau

John Terrick Williams RA (20 July 1860 – 20 July 1936). Williams was born in Liverpool, England, the son of a businessman. He was educated at Kings College School, London. Determination to become an artist he move to Europe and studied under Charles Verlat in Antwerp and later at the Académie Julian and Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant, William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Tony Robert-Fleury in Paris.

Williams focussed on landscape and marine subjects and painted in oil, pastel and watercolour. He travelled extensively and his impressionistic, luminous paintings sought the transient effects of light and reflections in Venice, St. Tropez, Paris, Brittany and St. Ives.

He was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 1904. His work was regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1891. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy (A.R.A.) on 18 November 1924, a Royal Academician (R.A.) on 14 February 1933, and a Senior R.A. on 1 January 1936. In 1933 he was also elected President of the RI. He died on his birthday in 1936 aged 76. After his death a memorial exhibition was held at the Fine Art Society in 1937. More on John Terrick Williams

Thomas Somerscales, 1842-1927


Oil on canvas

70 by 106cm., 27½ by 42in.

Private Collection

Somerscales depicts the ship hove to with her mainyards backed as whalers approach. In the distance, another ship can be seen with her ‘stun’-sails’ – the additional sails seen extended outside the normal sail plan – set. These were almost obsolete by the twentieth century. 

Thomas Jacques Somerscales (born in Kingston upon Hull on 29 October 1842; died 27 June 1927) was an English marine painter. He is also considered a Chilean painter as he began his career there and many of his landscapes evoke the region.

His father was a shipmaster, who sketched, and his uncle was an amateur painter. However he had no formal training as an artist and originally became a teacher in the Royal Navy. He also traveled around the Pacific and while teaching in Valparaíso he started working as a professional painter. By 1893 he was still referred to as a “little known artist” but had gained some praise. More on Thomas Jacques Somerscales

Thomas Bush Hardy, (1842-1897)

No. 1 Greenwich Pier, Stormy Weather

Oil on canvas

 9.5 x 20in.

Private Collection

Greenwich Pier is a pier on the River Thames in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, London. It was was originally built in the 1880s as a coaling jetty for the former Greenwich gasworks before this closed in the late 1980s. More on Greenwich Pier

Thomas Bush Hardy (1842, Sheffield – 1897, Maida Vale, London) was a British marine painter and watercolourist. As a young man he travelled in the Netherlands and Italy. In 1884 Hardy was elected a Member of the Royal Society of British Artists. He exhibited with the Society and also at the Royal Academy.

His paintings feature coastal scenes in England and the Netherlands, the French Channel ports and the Venetian Lagoon.

Hardy had nine children. His son Dudley Hardy was a painter, illustrator and poster designer. His daughter Dorothy received an MBE after working as a nurse in the First World War. He died on 15 December 1897 in Maida Vale, London. More on Thomas Bush Hardy

Henry Scott Tuke, R.A., R.W.S., 1858-1929


Oil on canvas

41 by 30.5cm., 16 by 12in.

Private Collection

Henry Scott Tuke RA RWS (12 June 1858 – 13 March 1929), was an English visual artist; primarily a painter, but also a photographer. His most notable work was in the Impressionist style.

He was born into a Quaker family in Lawrence Street in York. In 1859 the family moved to Falmouth, where where his father, a physician, established a practice. Tuke’s sister and biographer, Maria Tuke Sainsbury (1861–1947).

In 1875, Tuke enrolled in the Slade School of Art under Alphonse Legros and Sir Edward Poynter. Initially his father paid for his tuition but in 1877 Tuke won a scholarship, which allowed him to continue his training at the Slade and in Italy in 1880. From 1881 to 1883 he was in Paris where he met Jules Bastien-Lepage, who encouraged him to paint en plein air. While studying in France, Tuke decided to move to Newlyn Cornwall where many of his Slade and Parisian friends had already formed the Newlyn School of painters. He received several lucrative commissions there, after exhibiting his work at the Royal Academy of Art in London.

In 1885, Tuke returned to Falmouth where many of his major works were produced. Tuke became an established artist and was elected to full membership of the Royal Academy in 1914. Tuke suffered a heart attack in 1928 and died in March, 1929. Today he is remembered mainly for his oil paintings of young men, but in addition to his achievements as a figurative painter, he was an established maritime artist and produced as many portraits of sailing ships as he did human figures. Tuke was a prolific artist—over 1,300 works are listed and more are still being discovered. More Henry Scott Tuke


Thomas Bush Hardy (1842-1897)


Oil on canvas

91×60 cm

Private Collection

Thomas Bush Hardy (1842-1897), see above


Thomas Bush Hardy, (1842-1897)




Richard Strong, (American, Late 20th Century)

Unchartered Voyage

Oil on board

50 x 74 inches (127 x 188.0 cm)

Private Collection

Richard Strong was born in 1947 in Lakeland, Florida. He studied graphic arts and photography at the University of South Florida (1971-1975) receiving a scholarship and grant for postgraduate work in conjunction with Graphicstudio. As part of his training he studied under Frank Rampolla, Bruce Marsh, John Catterall, Oscar Bailey, and Theo Wujcik. He also was fortunate enough to work at Graphicstudio in association with the likes of James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha and Robert Rauchenberg under Tamarind trained master printer Chuck Ringness. More on Richard Strong

Viviane Guy, b. 1952, France

Un monde de tranquillité/ A world of tranquility

Oil on camvas

31 H x 31 W x 1 in

Viviane Guy. Born in 1952 in Bruxelles, Belgium, self-taught, Viviane Guy likes places filled with beauty. Breathing and seducing spaces. Her painter’s vision has brought her through the world particularly in Canada, French Polynesia, China and the U.S.A. where she reinforced her technique working hand to hand with the American painter Jackson Collins. Viviane Guy defines the Art of painting as the continuity of her childhood and considers that her staging have no other function than to tame the viewer in order for them to decode their senses. “In front of nature, a painter chooses how to look at it. I work following the impressions reality leaves in me, they inspire me while preserving my freedom. The subject can be guessed, but the ambiance is abstraction.” Viviane Guy.  More on Vivian Guy

Acknowledgement: HeritageSotheby’s  , and others

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Author: zaidangallery

I search Art History for Beautiful works that may, or may not, have a secondary or unexpected story to tell. I then write short summaries that grow from my research. Art work is so much more when its secrets are exposed

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