Dixon was a fisherman by trade who took up painting late in life. Like his St Ives counterpart, Alfred Wallis, Dixon never received any formal art training and was taken up by a professional artist who introduced his work to the contemporary art world.
While St Ives and Alfred Wallis proved inspirational for Ben Nicholson, Tory Island presented a romantic retreat for Derek Hill (see lot 62), the artist who discovered Dixon. Again, this association with the romanticism of the place has led to certain aspects of the artists' works being celebrated above others, in particular their portrayal of the sea and boats.
A pioneer of long-distance flight, Francis Chichester was the second person to fly solo from England to Australia, in a Gipsy Moth airplane. When he later turned to single-handed long-distance sailing, he named his four boats (II to V) after his plane. It was in Gipsy Moth IV that he achieved lasting fame for his one-stop solo circumnavigation.