About the artist
Dawson is widely recognised as one of the foremost marine painters of the early 20th century. His original artwork is now considered rare and highly valuable, with many of the signed colour prints from the 20th century either faded, lost, or damaged.
With both his father and grandfather being marine painters, Dawson's maritime roots were further enhanced when his family relocated to Smugglers House on Southampton Water, along England's southern coastline. Despite never attending art school, Dawson refined his craft at a commercial art studio in London around 1910, producing posters and illustrations.
Dawson's artistic journey took a pivotal turn when he joined the Royal Navy during the First World War, meeting Charles Napier Hemy, who profoundly influenced his art. He supplied illustrations to the Sphere magazine during the war and afterwards established himself as a painter and illustrator, focusing on historical subjects and sailing ships.
Dawson's commercial success kicked off in the 1920s, with exhibitions at the Royal Academy from 1916 to 1936 and regular showings at the Royal Society of Marine Artists, of which he was a member. He relocated to Milford-on-sea in Hampshire in the 1930s and continued his successful career as a painter, illustrating war events for the Sphere during the Second World War. Dawson's career remained prosperous until his death in Sussex in 1973, making him one of the most financially successful painters of the 20th century.
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