a critic once complained to me that monamy's water didn't look wet: quite right, here it doesn't look like water at all.

water doesn't always look like water


1708 Dunkirk 2
1708 Dunkirk 1

The two-pronged fork of Dunkirk's fantastic moles is a sight sufficient to suspend thought, and silence gabble, until further notice. We'll contemplate or ruminate, for the time being. It's a miserable day at the end of February, 1708, in the Graveline Pits.

In my view this painting resembles nothing so much as a poster from the 1920s or 1930s. Monamy was trained in the art of advertising.

The effect of this image is to emphasize, in the strongest possible manner, the implied threats of France, the continent of Europe, and Stuart rule --- in a word: totalitarianism --- fended off by the patrol of England's wooden walls.

The fortifications of Dunkirk were a constant bone of contention for several decades. Since this painting was produced about 1725, it seems evident to me that Monamy is making a very explicit political point, with direct reference to contemporary agitations.

1708 Dunkirk 1
battles pre 1704       battles 1704-1739
battles post 1739
200 years later

monamy website index


1684 Tangier
1685 East Indies
1690 Beachy Head
1692 La Hogue
1704 Gibraltar
1704 Malaga
1705 Channel Operations
1706 Barcelona
1706 Alicante
1708 Dunkirk 2
1708 Mediterranean Operations
1715 Channel Operations
1717 Baltic Operations
1718 Cape Passaro

see version ascribed to sailmaker

© Charles Harrison Wallace 2003, 2007, 2012, 2016
all rights reserved