Above, to the left, is the cover of Apollo, the magazine for Connoisseurs and Collectors, of October, 1937. To the right is a scan of the unexplained reproduction to be found on its page 230. C. Marshall Spink was the renowned dealer in antiques, so this painting was doubtless being touted by him for sale, although I couldn't find any other details about it. Google informs me that 14 years later a 7 page article, presumably in connection with an exhibition, appeared entitled Some masterpieces of 18th century painters in England: C. Marshall Spink, London, June 4th-July 24th, 1951. But I don't know if this picture was one of these masterpieces.
Who knows, who knows anything?
Who knows how weird the world of art attribution and picture dealing actually is? The picture above appeared on the art market in 1937; the picture below appeared on the market over 70 years later, in 2010.
Unless one was a virtual copy of the other by another artist, one might have supposed both to be by the same man. In 1937 this man was asserted to be the Younger William, but in 2010 he was a "follower" of Peter Monamy. Monamy, of course, in the mind of the mindless art historian, was a "follower" of the Younger. God help us.
Neither painting in fact actually suggests either Monamy or Young van de Velde. Who could these pictures be by, and when could they have been painted? Van Diest ? DuBois? Scott ? Leemans ? This elusive gent is certainly in part recognizable by his habit of not signing any of his works, and neither of these paintings is said to be signed. Perhaps a signature or two will appear at some later date.
Here's a fascinating clip: Eric Hebborn lives again! Free lessons on youtube means no-one these days need be without a genuine masterpiece in their home.
32 by 40. The Morning Gun, a naval warship firing a salute. Follower of Peter Monamy
Tennants Auctioneers. Three Day Sale starting Thursday 18 November 2010. Lot No. 846. Guide Price: £3000-5000
24 x 29. Sotheby's; 9 Dec 2008. The Morning Gun. Circle of Peter Monamy.
Same painter, is it not? Seems to have been active well before Monamy --- if not long after.
"According to a onetime editor of Woodrow Wilsonís papers, ..... Wilson observed often that the intensity of academic squabbles he witnessed while president of Princeton University was a function of the triviality of the issues being considered."
In 1973 a dictum described as Sayreís Law was expressed thus: "In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the stakes at issue."
Henry Kissinger is reported to have said in a speech, in 1997: "I formulated the rule that the intensity of academic politics and the bitterness of it is in inverse proportion to the importance of the subject they're discussing."
"Art history, as you probably know, is a nasty, vicious profession"
Iain Pears, The Raphael Affair, 1990, Chap 2
Art history, therefore, is of not the slightest importance.
for those who want to see something unusually baffling
chronology & authenticity
monamy website index
© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2012
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