A rather unusual work by the master, this uncharacteristically relaxed scene by Montague Dawson nevertheless encapsulates all the businesslike efficiency of the heyday of commercial sail whilst also conveying much of its inherent beauty. Instead of one of his celebrated clipper ships crashing through the waves however, here he has depicted a rather more humble workhorse of the sea, a bluff-stemmed heavily-sparred merchantman of the type more commonly known as 'windjammers' because of their huge expanse of sail. With most of those sails set, she is seen cruising effortlessly through the gentle swell deep-laden with her bulk cargo, probably grain or Australian wool. Sadly, Dawson has failed to give us her identity but it is of no matter; the subject is sufficiently charming to delight the eye of any viewer, particularly one discerning enough to realise the rarity of a composition such as this within the artist's established oeuvre. It is likewise significant that only one comparable painting is noted within the two major works of reference which catalogue Dawson's output, namely 'The Stately Ship' (for which, see L.G.G. Ramsey's, Montague Dawson, R.S.M.A., F.R.S.A., second revised edition, Leigh-on-Sea, 1970, no. 248, p. 50, pl. 46).