Montague Dawson 
Rounding Cape Horn
⚈ Sold
British (1895-1973)

Oil on Canvas Circa 1959
20 x 30 Inches 28 x 38 Inches Framed
Signed LL: Montague Dawson  
   

Montague Dawson 
 
British (1895-1973)
 
Rounding Cape Horn
⚈ Sold

Oil on Canvas Circa 1959
20 x 30 Inches 28 x 38 Inches Framed
Signed LL: Montague Dawson  
   

Montague Dawson excels at portraying the perilous drama of facing a raging sea within this maritime narrative painting of a merchant sailing ship and her stalwart crew navigating the ocean of the Southern Hemisphere. He shows the tough conditions possible in this sought-after on-deck scene with the rig bracing the sails tight, a lifeboat stowed over the cabins, as an officer shouts orders to the men racing to stabilize the ship. A massive swell tops the rail as a chill snowfall makes the tasks that much more challenging.

The westerly winds responsible for driving record runs of ships while sailing the southern hemisphere would also produce magnificently perilous seas. Dawson’s tribute of the moment to the stalwart men and ships whom met the challenge on the east bound route around Cape Horn is a third-person elevated view of a moment of decision. Sailors attend to the vital tasks on deck of reefing the sails, battening the hatches and just hanging on.

Once the Far East Trade opened to all nations in the 19th Century, many sailing merchants took on the perilous routes to the Asian and Australian continents, and many stood “with a bone in her teeth” against the swells of the 40th Parallel, from which the roaring 40s earned its name in the maritime pursuit. Dawson’s expertise with brush and emotional context in oil rivals these master mariners in the days of merchant sail.


Provenance: Chilton Collection, Texas from a London Gallery in 1980;Private Texas Collection; Marchman Collection, Texas.