Acclaimed as an outstanding early 20th century artist especially in watercolour, Charles Dixon’s most noted works were of famous battle scenes, views of the Port of London, and estuary scenes with steam and sail. He was born in Goring on Thames on December 8th, 1872 and lived at Itchenor, Near Chichester, Sussex. He was the son of the genre and history painter Alfred Dixon and he himself developed a taste for historical subjects, though always of naval interest. He did illustrations for the Illustrated London News, the Sphere and the Graphic. Interesting to note, he was a friend of Sir Thomas Lipton and went out with all five "Shamrocks" to record the America’s Cup Races off Sandy Hook. He travelled extensively including visits to the United States on several occasions.
Important to note that this watercolour has its original exhibition label from the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, having been exhibited there in 1909. It is a superb example of Charles Dixon's work, and is signed and dated by the artist and presented in pristine condition, which is further enhanced by the use of its original period frame.
Title: "Battle on the High Seas"
Size: Height 42 ½” x Width 62 1/2" (framed)
Ref. No. 2278N
This tour de force watercolour by Charles Edward Dickson depicts the “Zeeslag bij Kamperduin”, a major naval action fought on 11 October 1797, between a Royal Navy fleet under Admiral Adam Duncan and a Dutch Navy fleet under Vice-Admiral Jan de Winter. The battle was the most significant action between British and Dutch forces during the French Revolutionary Wars and resulted in a complete victory for the British, who captured eleven Dutch ships without losing any of their own. In 1795 the Dutch Republic had been overrun by the army of the French Republic and had been reorganized into the Batavian Republic, a French client state. In early 1797, after the French Atlantic Fleet had suffered heavy losses in a disastrous winter campaign, the Dutch fleet was ordered to reinforce the French at Brest. The rendezvous never occurred; the continental allies failed to capitalize on the Spithead and Nore mutinies that paralyzed the British Channel forces and North Sea fleets during the spring of 1797.
He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1889 with titles including "The Thames from Cherry Garden Pier" 1889, "The Port of Liverpool" 1894, "Westward Ho" 1894, "Sinking" 1898, "The Worlds Noblest Portal" 1902, etc., also at the Royal Institute, where he had an outstanding record of 170 Water Colours, and at the Royal Institute of Painters in Oil, Walker's Gallery, London, Manchester City Art Gallery, Dudley Gallery, Royal Society of Artists, Birmingham, and the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts. Three major exhibitions of Charles Dixon's work were held in 1973 in England renewing his status as one of the finest watercolourists spanning the 19th and 20th Centuries. Examples of this artist’s work are held by the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.