One of the greatest marine artists of all time, Montague Dawson was drawn to the lure of the open sea and was enchanted by the romantic history and the graceful design of the old sleek clipper ships. During his time as a young naval officer in the First World War, Dawson combined his passion with his natural talent for drawing, and would spend the remainder of his life as a professional painter and illustrator. Dawson enjoyed painting magnificent clipper ships in battle scenes, in races and occasionally silhouetted alone against the horizon, almost as if he was painting a portrait of an old friend. He began exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1917, was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1936 and later became a founder member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. Dawson enjoyed the patronage of many influential figures of his day including President Lyndon B. Johnson and the British Royal Family.