These paintings cannot have been produced before the events they illustrate. However, there is no telling the time lapse between the event and the painting, except by corroboration of dated prints. Even then there is no guarantee that any particular painting predates the print, unless the correspondence is so exact that doubt is totally dispelled. See Vauxhall Gardens pages, here. My contention is that none of Monamy's works, from about the time of the sailor's farewell painting, say 1738, show any vestige of foreign influence, and that for the last ten years of his life he reverted to the native base of his art, namely the signboard, which Paulson calls " the most indigenous manifestation of art available".
Published October 28th 1743
Event Sep 23rd 1739
Capture of Porto Bello 21st November 1739. The news reached England 12th March 1740
Capture of the Princesa 8th April 1740
|A SHIP IN DISTRESS|
Monamy pinxt Canot sculp
Publish'd according to Act of Parliament in Febry 1745-6
Design'd to represent the loss of the Victory by a violent Storm near the Race of Alderney in the Year 1744. Sr John Balchen the Admiral & upwards of 1000 Men were on board & unhappily perish'd in the Waves.
Printed for John Bowles at the Black Horse in Cornhill
Another note says the loss occurred near the Casquets. Monamy's original painting (perhaps the one now in the NMM collection) was based on an Admiralty model, begun in 1737 and completed after the tragedy. A broadsheet ballad was sung throughout the country in mourning of this tragic event. Those lost included 100 midshipmen, aged 13 and upwards.
With many thanks to Michael Phillips.
Loss of the Victory 4 October 1744
hand-coloured print [detail]
30 x 24 National Maritime Museum
"The lighthouse keeper on the Casquets heard gunfire at approximately 2 a.m. on 5th October." 1744.
In The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, 1979, there is an entry for Monamy containing this note: "His later paintings were dark and strong, lacking in some respects the light and delicacy of his earlier work". The relative correctness of this observation shines out in a commentary which is otherwise almost entirely wrong: "born in Jersey", "meticulous in style", "little variety", "never departed from what might be called the Van de Velde tradition", etc. Stupefying.
The Capture of Louisburg, 1745. 21 x 38½.
The Nottingham captures the Mars, 11th October 1746
Monamy's death occurred in early 1749. He was buried at St Margaret's, Westminster, on 7th February. The news of Captain Saumarez' capture of the Mars would have reached England by the end of 1746. Saumarez was killed in 1747. At some time between the beginning of 1747, whether before or after Saumarez' death, and the end of 1748, Monamy painted the above picture. A line print, 10¼ x 15¼, was engraved by Remigius Parr, after P.Monamy & F.Swaine.
We fought them seven glasses when, to add to all their fears
The shout was raised for "Boarders!" and we gave three ringing cheers;
Down came her flag, we took her; her name it was the Mars;
The French be d---d, they ne'er can stand, and fight with British Tars.
From Naval Battles, a collection of prints published by T.H.Parker 1911
for the full version of the shanty, click here
OTHER PICTURES PAINTED DURING PHASE FOUR
phase 1: 1704-1720 phase 2: 1720-1732 phase 3: 1732-1739
monamy website index
© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2001, 2013
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