THE BOWSPRIT ANGLE

The painting detail shown here, right, of a ketch-rigged Royal Yacht in a breeze, 16 x 18, is signed Johann van der Hagen. Also known as Jan van Hagen, he is said to have been born in The Hague in 1675, and died before 1745, perhaps in Dublin. See Joel, p.95.

There is strong confidence that his daughter Bernarda married Cornelius van de Velde. The speculation that he might have worked for the Younger van de Velde seems highly dubious. On the evidence of this signed painting it is hard to accept that he ever came under the personal instruction of the Master. He may, however, have worked with Cornelius, say 1710-1714, whose standards were not comparable with those of his father.

The series of pictures below also suggests that there was some considerable overlap in his output with that of Monamy, or the Monamy enterprise, in the transition period 1715-1725. It remains rather surprising that any of these painters, including Scott, could have continually drawn the bowsprits on their pictures of yachts angled so decidedly to port.

Remmelt Daalder has now made it clear that Cornelius died in 1714, not 1729 as was long supposed.
His new book on the van de Veldes meets a long-felt need.



A.   Indecipherable signature. Dimensions unknown, but in proportion 1:2½.
View of Dordrecht suggests strong Anglo-Dutch interest. Sabin Galleries c. 1980

Unless the signature, above (A), reads P.Monamy Pinxt, one might be forgiven for thinking this post-1707 painting could be by Jan van Hagen, depending on palette and brushwork. The Dordrecht skyline is famous from works by van Goyen and Cuyp.


B.   Bears Monamy signature, see below. 30 x 46. Pre-1707 ensign.

This closely comparable painting has to be by Monamy, but the suspicion remains that van der Hagen collaborated with him, as the van de Velde brand faded away during the 1720s. The flag's canton is a slight puzzle. Van der Hagen may perhaps have also been responsible for a number of pictures of ships, often smaller vessels, flying Dutch flags, which are attributed to Monamy, and/or signed with his name.


on basis of alleged subject, and style, dated to about 1727

If this picture can be dated to some time soon after 1727, it may well be one of the earliest of Monamy's paintings to essay the wilder type of scene. It also seems to be the first of a series of storms which continued to be represented in this manner well after Monamy's death. See discussion here.


Twenty years later, the angled bowsprit returns with a vengeance in Monamy's last painting, the Nottingham takes the Mars.



 

Scott's two versions of the Nottingham v Mars action, above and left, also depict the bowsprit in faulty perspective, although not to such a marked degree as Monamy.




Swaine's print "delineation", 1750, gets it right. See also here.


13 x 48; exhibited rutland gallery 1963; one of a pair?   its partner was titled "men of war in a gale"


20 x 32; attributed to "a follower of Peter Monamy"; Bonhams 11/9/2007
This painting is now confidently ascribed to Charles Brooking


Sotheby, 9 July, 1980: "English School, c 1700"

Dimensions given in the 1980 catalogue as 27¼ x 27¼. Some handsome restoration work has been carried out. And why not?

The bowsprit angle is taken as signatory. In another auction catalogue, 2007, the painting above left, 28 x 28, unsigned, is explicitly attributed to Johann van der Hagen, whose dates are given as 1645 (The Hague) - c 1720 (Dublin). This markedly contradicts other reference sources, eg the Dictionary of Sea Painters, which fairly convincingly gives his dates as 1675 - c 1745. Perhaps there has been some new research discovery. It is also asserted that it "seems certain that van der Hagen joined the studio of Willem van de Velde, the Younger, (at the Queen's House, Greenwich), as a regular studio assistant." To me it seems extremely unlikely that the author of the above painting ever received any tutelage from the Younger van de Velde. Archibald comments that "he is said to have come to London about the end of the 17th century".

In The Discovery of Painting, 1988, Iain Pears notes (p.256): "John Vanderhagen, on the staff of the Earl of Derby at Knowsley in 1702 at 20 a year (Lancs RO, Knowsley Mss DDK15/24)". If he was retained by Derby in 1702 (aged 27), he wasn't working in the van de Velde studio. What evidence is there that Johann died in about 1720 in Dublin ? Archibald says that in a note dated 1745 he is described as "the late".

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