The J Class Yacht ‘Valsheda’ and Yanneke Too racing in the Millennium Cup, Auckland

by John Steven Dews


John Steven Dews was born in Yorkshire in 1949. Following his graduation, Dews built up an amazing portfolio for his first exhibition back in 1976. On the Exhibition’s first night, almost his entire collection was sold. The following year he held an Exhibition in San Francisco which also sold out to great critical acclaim, and since then, Dews has continued exhibiting regularly at leading galleries in London and throughout the world. He is now commissioned for several years in advance. Dews’ work is avidly collected around the world. Above all, he lives and loves the subjects he paints, and spends any of his spare time sailing.

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 60.0 x 90.0 cm/23.6 x 35.4 ins
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘J Steven Dews’ lower left
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

Catalogue No: 5930 Categories: , ,

The J-class yacht Velsheda was designed by Charles Ernest Nicholson and built in 1933 in Hampshire. She was built for businessman William Lawrence Stephenson and between 1933 and 1936, she won many races and competed with other great yachts such as Britannia, Endeavour and Shamrock V.

After a distinguished racing career in the 1930s, Velsheda languished for many years on a mud berth on the Hamble. Eventually sold, her new owner set about rebuilding her with the latest in rig, sail technology and deck hardware. The result was the creation of a yacht which is both fast but which still retains her classic racing pedigree. Velsheda was relaunched on 3rd September 1997 and she spent several weeks on the sail trials on the Solent, which is a strait separating the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England.

Private collection, United Kingdom

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John Steven Dews is a maritime artist that was born in Yorkshire in 1949. The continued desirability and critical acclaim that his work achieves places him as one of the most successful living maritime artists in the world.

Following his graduation, Dews built up an astonishing portfolio for his first exhibition in 1976 and, on the exhibition’s first night, virtually his entire collection was sold. The following year he held an exhibition in San Francisco which also sold out. Since then, he has continued to exhibit at leading art galleries in London and around the world.

The Marine Board of New South Wales commissioned from Steven Dews a record of the Australian Bicentennial Celebrations, and in 1994 the New York Yacht Club chose him to record their 150th Birthday Regatta at Newport, R.I. The Royal Yacht Squadron commissioned Dews to paint a record of the 2001 America’s Cup Jubilee Regatta and have repeated this honour for their 200 year celebrations. Steven is well known for his dramatic America’s Cup paintings, and was commissioned to paint all of the America’s Cup regattas Alinghi raced in.

This acclaim is echoed in some remarkable prices achieved at auction for his work. In the Sotheby’s sale of Maritime Art in London on April 28th 1999, his original entitled ‘Off Cowes’, sold for a phenomenal price for a living marine artist. His current auction record is believed to be his spectacular canvas of the Battle of Trafalgar at Bonhams in 2012. This painting is one of the largest the artist has ever created, with dimensions of 40 x 66 inches, and took seven years to complete.

Steven Dews lives and loves the subject he paints. When he is not painting maritime scenes, Steven can be found on the sea himself, as he is a highly experienced yachtsman. Today he lives in New Zealand, and is currently preparing to sail around the world in his new boat.

Steven brings his knowledge of sailing to the composition and detail of his paintings. This, together with a mastery of technique to capture wind, sea and sky has raised his work to be highly prized amongst collectors.

Many owners from around the world have commissioned portraits of their favourite yachts. He is now commissioned for several years in advance.

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