"Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness.
A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing,
either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals."
George Orwell, first published in the TLS, 1972
The truth, as Roger de Piles memorably remarked, is that: "There are some curious men who form an idea of a master, by the sight of three or four of his pictures; and who, after this, believe they have a sufficient authority to decide what his manner is; without considering what care the painter took about them, and what age he was of when he drew them. ..... There is none also that had not his beginning, his progress, and his end; that is to say, three manners." This comes from the English translation of the Art of Painting, 1706.
Fawkes' booth at Bartholomew Fair: the peoples' pleasures.
Norie, Pinchbeck, Fawkes
a spin-off page
pointers to Monamy's development and progress
"by constant practice he distinguisht himself and came into reputation"
BM Curator's comments: "The reference is to an early siege of Gibraltar in 1727."
Spain prepared for siege of Gibraltar at end of 1726. Wager sailed for the rock on Jan 19, 1727.
Brief war between England and Spain. Hostilities ceased June 16, 1727.
For Gibraltar, see here..
Joshua Ross was notable for painting battle scenes, including Blenheim.
In The London Daily Post and General Advertiser from Christopher Pinchbeck, 1976, p 18.
The sea and shipping by Peter Monamy was evidently retained, if modified, in 1729.
For what "ordinary painting" implied in the first half of the C18th, it's worth inspecting the works of Monamy's Scottish near-equivalent, the "house-painter", ie decorator, James Norie, 1684 - 1757.
An interior at Caroline Park, Edinburgh. From The Norie Family, 1994, p 8.
Below, two similar overdoors by Monamy.
Sadly, the sometime idiot owner of these two evocative paintings removed the frames.
Three prospects by James Norie: progress from "ordinary painter" to emulator (?) of continental landscapes.
Were continental painters not emulators of their predecessors ?
Two more pictures by the house-painter, James Norie.
Monamy's three ages divide as follows:
His beginning: 1704-1727. Twenty-three years.
According to Geoffrey Callender, as quoted by David Coke and Alan Borg, Vauxhall Gardens, p.120, Peter Monamy "sprang into fame with a bold treatment of the capture of Porto Bello which drew the whole town to Vauxhall Gardens". Callender was notable for several things, but accurate scholarship was not one of them. The truth is that Monamy distinguished himself by sheer hard work at grassroots level, over twenty years and more, and he had come into reputation by about the mid-1720s.
By 1726 or 1727 Monamy had come to the notice of George Vertue, who penned an inaccurate and garbled account of his life, but correctly reported his elevation to the livery of the Painter-Stainers Company, and his donation of the very large painting which is still to be seen there. This followed his major commission and completion of four major paintings recording the battle triumphs of George Byng, Viscount Torrington, which are dated 1725.
His progress: 1728-1740. Twelve years.
His end: 1741-1749. Eight years.
At this point it's worth taking a look at the pages devoted to the chronology of Monamy's works.
Some useful reading
1976. Christopher Pinchbeck and his Family, by Rita Shenton
1994. The Norie Family, by James Holloway
2005. The History of the Worshipful Company of Painters, by Alan Borg
2011. Vauxhall Gardens, A History, by David Coke & Alan Borg
2016. Van de Velde & Son, Marine Painters, 1640-1707, by Remmelt Daalder
Captured in 1704; ceded to Britain in 1713.