The power of art is ..... the power to hold our gaze across the years or centuries
Keith Miller, TLS, December 1, 2006, p.18
"..... academic painters have to undergo and overcome the whole long series of trials devised by the École ..... The most consecrated painters ..... competed all their lives for the École's laurels, which they themselves award in their turn, in their capacity as professors or jury members ..... trained through imitation of their master and occupied in training masters in their own image, they never escape from the École's grasp, the necessity of which they deeply internalize through subjects which are in appearance purely technical or aesthetic but which have submission to the academic institution as an underlying principle. The École, that is, the state, guarantees their value, by guaranteeing, like paper money, the value of the titles that they receive and confer. It also guarantees the value of their products by assuring them of a near monopoly of the only existing market ..... classical art, or at least academic art, is a state-sanctioned art ..... acclaim by the highest instance of approbation, where the highest artistic authorities hob-nob with the representatives of political power, is the exclusive measure of value. The painter is trained through his whole apprenticeship to experience this approbation in these terms, and he perceives admission to the Salon, the prizes, election to the Academy and official commissions not so much as a simple means of 'making a name for oneself', but rather as attestations of his value, genuine certificates of artistic quality." From The Field of Cultural Production, Pierre Bourdieu, 1993, Manet and the Institutionalization of Anomie.
Persuasion, by Jane Austen, Chapter 18: "Here I am, you see, staring at a picture. I can never get by this shop without stopping. But what a thing here is, by way of a boat. Do look at it. Did you ever see the like? What queer fellows your fine painters must be, to think that any body would venture their lives in such a shapeless old cockleshell as that. And yet, here are two gentlemen stuck up in it mightily at their ease, and looking about them at the rocks and mountains, as if they were not to be upset the next moment, which they certainly must be. I wonder where that boat was built!" (laughing heartily) "I would not venture over a horsepond in it. ..... Lord! what a boat it is!" The Admiral is obviously not looking at a Scott; perhaps a Pether, a Vernet, or even a Monamy. My questioner completely missed my point about marine painting.
Backhuysen & van de Velde.
In her stimulating study of Ludolf Backhuysen Gerlinde de Beer has this to say: "Der ständige Vergleich, der heute gerne zwischen Ludolf Backhuysen und Willem van de Velde angestellt wird, und die angebliche Konkurrenz-Beziehung, die ihnen nachgesagt wird, wurde grösstenteils in diesem Jahrhundert konstruiert und ist irrelevant. Verantwortlich dafür ist zu einem nicht geringen Teil eine Spaltung der Kritiker in zwei Lager: die der schiffbautechnisch-dokumentarischen auf der Seite van de Veldes und die der primär artistichen des Faches auf der Seite van Backhuysens. Dabei ist die Sache so einfach. Und bis in das 19. Jh. hatte man damit auch gar kein Problem. Das unten angeführte Kritiker-Zitat im Kontext mit J.C.Schotel ist beispielhaft, in unserer Zeit erfasste es lediglich der Bénézit Backhuysen-Artikel: Backhuysen ist der Meister der stürmischen See --- van de Velde der Meister der Stillen See. Die beiden Künstler sahen dies ebenso." [p.180]. Should "van Backhuysens" read "von Backhuysens"? No matter, the point is pretty clear.
In the first edition, 1706, of his translation from the French of Roger de Piles' The Art of Painting, B. Buckeridge added his own Essay towards an English School, consisting of brief lives of painters, English or otherwise, who had worked in England. This is his entry for the Elder van de Velde: "WILLIAM VANDERVELDE, Commonly called the Old, Was an extraordinary ship-Painter of Amsterdam. Coming over into England, he was much employed by King Charles II. for whom he painted several sea-fights between the Dutch and English. He also understood navigation admirably well, and is said to have conducted the English fleet to the burning of Schelling. He was the Father of a living master, whom no age has equalled in ship-Painting, and this we owe to the father's instruction, who was an admirable draftsman of all maritime objects. He lived at Greenwich, to be the more conversant in these things, which were his continual study; and in which King Charles II. and King James II. gave him all possible encouragement, making him their Painter, with a considerable salary, which was afterwards continued to his son, now living, 1706. The father, in his latter days, commonly drew in black and white, on a ground prepared on canvas, but which appeared like paper. He gave an easy freedom to his sails and tackle, as also to every part of a ship due proportion with infinite neatness. For his better information in this way of Painting, he had a model of the masts and tackle of a ship always before him, to that nicety and exactness, that nothing was wanting in it, nor nothing unproportionable. This model is still in the hands of his son. Old Vandervelde died in London about the beginning of King William's reign."
Sir George Byng's victory in 1718 at Cape Passaro is, on the whole, little remembered by the British. Nevertheless it was probably more important for the future of Britain than all of Marlborough's victories combined.
Carey & Gilbert.
What's in a name? Nothing at all. Peter Monamy's mother was named Dorothy Gilbert. The maternal grandmother of his father, Pierre Monamy, was named Catherine Carey, daughter of the Seigneur de Blanchelande, Guernsey. Carey and Gilbert had been prominent names in Good Queen Bess's golden days. Her uncle by marriage was a man named William Carey, the husband of Mary Boleyn, Anne Boleyn's sister. Mary's son, Henry Carey, born 1526, later ennobled as Lord Hunsdon by Elizabeth, was almost certainly fathered by Henry VIII, however. See here. Three men, named John, Humphrey and Adrian Gilbert, were exceptionally notable Devonian Elizabethans. Their younger half-brother was Sir Walter Raleigh. Humphrey Gilbert claimed Newfoundland for Elizabeth, and brother Walter founded Virginia. See here. This is a completely irrelevant note, but curious, nonetheless. "I count the glory of my Crown that I have reigned with your loves" said Elizabeth I. Whatever the Stuarts were crowned with, it wasn't their people's love. See here. The Stuarts, of course, claimed to have been crowned by God.
A later Henry Carey, 1687-1743, satirist and suicide, presumably took his surname from his mother, since his father was probably Henry Savile, Lord Eland. Another authority (Richard Clark, below, see God Save the King) says George Saville, Marquis of Halifax. This Carey was the likely author, 1726, of A Learned Dissertation on Dumpling, which was another name for political corruption. I wonder if Peter Monamy knew him.
Guernsey pride in Carey blood, and thereby association with Queen Elizabeth of hallowed memory, is expressed by Jonathan Duncan. "Private affection, as well as public policy, might have induced [Queen Elizabeth] to exercise so much kindness to Guernsey, she being very closely connected with the ancestors of the present Carey family, so numerous and respectable to the island. Every one knows that Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry the Eighth and Anne Boleyn; that unfortunate lady had a sister, named Mary Boleyn, who married a Mr Carey. He was raised to the honour of knighthood, but after Anne Boleyn was beheaded, Carey lost his title and became a poor man. When Elizabeth obtained the throne, she did not forget her cousins, and one of them, Nicholas Carey, was appointed receiver of her majesty's rents in Guernsey, and he was one of the commissioners appointed to erect the grammar school which she endowed. This fact is worthy of being recorded, as the Careys are the only family in the island who can connect themselves with the blood royal of England ...." History of Guernsey, 1841, p 43.
Extracts from the Preface to John Gay's opera, Polly, 1729, the sequel to The Beggar's Opera of 1728, as follows: "After Mr Rich and I were agreed upon terms and conditions for bringing this Piece on the stage, and that every thing was ready for a Rehearsal; The Lord Chamberlain sent an order from the country to prohibit Mr Rich to suffer any Play to be rehears'd upon his stage till it had been first of all supervis'd by his Grace. ..... 'Twas on Saturday morning December 7th, 1728, that I waited upon the Lord Chamberlain; I desir'd to have the honour of reading the Opera to his Grace, but he order'd me to leave it with him, which I did upon expectation of having it return'd on the Monday following, but I had it not 'till Thursday December 12, when I receiv'd it from his Grace with this answer; that it was not allow'd to be acted, but command'd to be supprest. This was told me in general without any reasons assign'd, or any charge against me of my having given any particular offence. Since this prohibition I have been told that I am accused, in general terms, of having written many disaffected libels and seditious pamphlets. ..... I am inform'd too, that in the following Play, I have been charg'd with writing immoralities; that it is fill'd with slander and calumny against particular great persons, and that Majesty it-self is endeavour'd to be brought into ridicule and contempt."
Lift any stone in the 1720's and 1730's, and find a particular great toad, and his well-oiled toadies. Sir Robert Walpole was very strong on censorship. What dispensation makes the censor morally superior to the material he censors?
4th Feb 1685: "Thus died King Charles II, of a vigorous and robust constitution, and in all appearance promising a long life. .... I can never forget the inexpressible luxury and profaneness, gaming, and all dissoluteness, and as it were total forgetfulness of God (it being Sunday evening), which this day se'ennight I was witness of, the King sitting and toying with his concubines, Portsmouth, Cleveland, and Mazarine, &c, a French boy singing love-songs, in that glorious gallery, whilst about twenty of the great courtiers and other dissolute persons were at Basset round a large table, a bank of at least 2000 in gold before them; upon which two gentlemen who were with me made reflections with astonishment. Six days after, was all in the dust." John Evelyn, Diary.
This, the bane of English life for the last 250 years, and the basic cause of Britain's decline, is greatly misunderstood in the context of the early years of the C18th. The Horace Walpoles and the Virtuosi, among others, had changed most social perceptions by the mid-century. At the time of Monamy's rise to reputation "... in the 1720's. Continental snobbishness had not yet made its offensive appearance; Elizabethan social freedom survived. It was common for a young man of good family to learn a trade; many a tradesman was also a gentleman of coat-armour. There were the nobility, the 'middling men', who were also gentlemen, and the common people. Those innumerable social grades that we have today to pander to our vanity and to vex our neighbours with, had not then been conjured into existence." From the Preface, penned 1936, by R.Reynell Bellamy, to Ramblin' Jack: the journal of Capt. John Cremer, 1700-1774, p.21. "Elizabethan social freedom" had not so much survived as it had been resolutely maintained during the C17th, in despite of the Stuart kings and their courts. It is entertaining to see R.Reynell Bellamy blaming "Continental snobbishness" for the paralysing class-consciousness, clothed in hypocrisy, which came to permeate English life, at least until the 1970s.
English Marine Painting.
Scott's "marine", and white text, from a promotional leaflet distributed by our National (sic) Maritime Museum
In view of the possible views of the dimmer type of web crawler it needs to be said, needless to say, that classism, tribalism, creedism and quotidian nationalism are not surreptitiously being peddled here under the guise of art-historianism. The True-Born Englishman of Daniel Defoe is long: here is an extract:
The Romans first with Julius Caesar came,
Including all the Nations of that Name,
Gauls, Greeks, and Lombards; and by Computation,
Auxiliaries or Slaves of ev'ry Nation.
With Hengist, Saxons; Danes with Sueno came,
In search of Plunder, not in search of Fame.
Scots, Picts, and Irish from th'Hibernian Shore:
And Conqu'ring William brought the Normans o're.
All these their Barb'rous Offspring left behind,
The Dregs of Armies, they of all Mankind;
Blended with Britains who before were here,
Of whom the Welsh ha' blest the Character.
From this Amphibious Ill-born Mob began
That vain ill-natur'd thing, an Englishman.
By the time this satire was published, 1701, the amphibious ill-born mob included Dutchmen, French Huguenots and Jews. England in these times was seen as a haven of hope for freedom-lovers from the Continent, and the Londoner's bellicosity was fuelled by his desire to mete out retribution for persecution. Greed followed, naturally, accompanied by imperialism. Shades of the imprisoned lightning, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free of Emma Lazarus. Apparently some half-witted, preceptive New York bureaucrat has decided to censor her lines. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.
See here. Reflect also on this remark by Plutarch: "The Romans did not think it proper that anyone should be left free to follow his personal preferences and appetites, whether in marriage, the begetting of children, the regulation of his daily life, or the entertainment of his friends, without a large measure of surveillance and control". Life of Cato the Elder, , Scott-Kilvert's translation, 1965. The instinct of the ruler to exercise totalitarian control has deep and ancient roots.
Garrick's authorship of Heart of Oak had me puzzled for quite some time, as the song's sentiments were difficult to reconcile with such a noted Shakespearian thespian, and one apparently well-liked by Dr Johnson. The puzzle was answered by Gwynn's Huguenot Heritage, wherein is related that Garrick's grandfather, also named David, escaped persecution in France by way of Brittany and Guernsey. Not only that, but the actor's grandfather was a part-owner in a privateer named The Protestant Cause. Pp 156 & 186. See also here.
God Save the King.
Gilbert Macquoid's compilation, 1887 and later, of Jacobite Songs & Ballads contains an item entitled The King's Anthem. The first line reads God bless our lord the king! and continues with familiar, and slightly less familiar, wording and metrics through six verses. Macquoid remarks "it is difficult to account for the veneration in which the ill-fated family [ie the Stuarts] was held, unless we give great weight to the powers of personal fascination which several members of the family possessed ..... when their acts of government, or misgovernment, are considered ..... it is remarkable that they met with even as much success as they did, and were tolerated for so long a time." After the Commonwealth, the English came to the conclusion that they would tolerate a king --- King Log, that is, not King Stork. God Save the King is patently royalist, if not overtly Jacobite. Rule Britannia, on the other hand, if overtly imperialistic, is latently republican.
An Account of the National Anthem entitled "God Save the King!", by Richard Clark, was published in 1822. This rambling but exhaustive account confidently names the authors of the words and music of the anthem as Ben Jonson, Poet Laureate, and John Bull, Doctor of Music; and appears to prove conclusively that it was composed in honour of James I, in 1607. Later claims by Henry Carey's son, G.S.Carey, that his father composed it; or by the semi-apocryphal Marquise de Créquy, 1834, that it was composed by three nuns at St Cyr in 1688, abide our question. With thanks to Jim Chevallier for stimulating research into this knotty matter: see his website here. The Bull by Force in Fields doth Raigne/But Bull by Skill Good Will doth Gayne. See p.72 of Clark's book.
About a century after Clark's Account C.A.Browne, in The Story of Our National Ballads, 1931, does not exactly agree with the assertion of John Bull's authorship. See his Chapter V, America: My country! 'tis of thee, etc (Samuel F.Smith); where he waxes discursive in his "Story of a Tune on Its Travels", p.105.
Certain kinds of song have a tendency to migrate. When I was a boy my father once told me that the British 8th Army, spearheaded by Vera Lynn, captured Lilli Marlene from the Afrika Korps in 1942. A strict respect for truth was not his highest priority. See here. If Wolfgang Petersen's epic Das Boot is authentic, then It's a Long Way to Tipperary was the German U-boat crew's preferred morale-booster; but a war too late.
Anyone retaining the slightest doubt of Guernsey's socio-political orientation from 1640 onwards could do worse than read Jonathan Duncan's History of Guernsey, 1841. Here is his opinion of Charles the Second, p. 118: "..... he undoubtedly was one of the worst sovereigns who has filled the British throne, and even in exile he showed himself unworthy of a crown. In 1654, he offered £500 a year, and a knighthood, to any one who would destroy Cromwell by 'pistol, sword, or poison, or otherwise', as appears by a proclamation given by Thurloe, and he was only prevented from continuing in this course by the declaration of his intended victim, that if any attempt to assassinate him should fail, he would make an assassination war of it, and destroy the whole of the royal family, as he had instruments to execute his purpose, whenever he desired it. ..... On the restoration, the body of the heroic Blake ..... was removed from the abbey, and, by Charles's command, thrown with many others into a pit in St Margaret's churchyard, as if the services of such a man to his country had not entitled his remains to rest quietly in the grave! ..... we must now more explicitly state our conviction ..... that under [Charles's] despotic rule the Guernseymen of that day had no reason to be ashamed of the part which they took during the civil war ---- that struggle between kingly despotism and limited monarchy. In our opinion, their adherence to the parliament is the best proof of the higher degree of knowledge and civilization which this island then attained, and, as a necessary consequence, the inhabitants objected to be 'vassalized either in their consciences or estates' ---- words used by them in their declaration to Cromwell."
These, presumably, were "the views of his family" to which Horace Walpole attached such withering contempt when sneering at Peter Monamy's early education, life and training.
It grows clearer by the day that the two single actions of the Stuarts which really got the goat of the average Englishman were the execution of Sir Walter Raleigh and the desecration of the grave of Robert Blake.
Helen Gardner, in The Business of Criticism, 1959, has a chapter entitled The Historical Approach. This then newly published little book was the first I was told to ingest by my tutor, when I began to read for my English degree, and that particular chapter made a profound impression, lasting the rest of my life. It may even have had an effect on the mind of the nincompoop employed by the AHRB, without dispelling his/her ignorance, or preventing him/her from using a pitifully uncritical phrase like "second-rank practitioner". Gardner's chapter is not easy to quote from, but here is an excerpt: "When we are confronted with the expression of the mind of someone long dead, embodied in a work of art, [in] the process of coming to understand it ..... we have to develop a technique of questioning, asking questions which arise out of the work itself." p.35. This is the technique that has been adopted on these pages.
History is not a catalogue but…a convincing version of events. A.J.P. Taylor. History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. Napoleon Bonaparte. History is more or less bunk. Henry Ford, Chicago Tribune, May 25, 1916. History is just one damn thing after another. Arnold Toynbee. The historian is a prophet looking backwards. Friedrich von Schlegel. By and large, the historian will get the kind of facts he wants. E.H.Carr; quoted by Ian Cawood, TLS, 24 June, 2011, p 31.
The Anecdotes of William Hogarth, written by himself, edited and published by J.B.Nichols in 1833, together with a large selection of critical commentary, is a healthy antidote to the Anecdotes of Horace Walpole. Hogarth's 60 pages of trenchant observation and reminiscences, from his birth in 1697 until his death in 1764, are worth getting by heart for anyone interested in the vital realities of an independent-minded painter's concerns during these years. One of Hogarth's major life-long pre-occupations was the encouragement and development of English painting. He is rewarded for this by English art-historical academic institutions, whose graduates learn to label him a "chauvinist".
The word "anecdote", I am led to believe by Christopher Peachment, was first used in English by Andrew Marvell. I wonder if Horace Walpole knew that.
House of Hanover.
"History books would have us believe that the first of the Hanoverian line on the throne of England did not evoke much love or respect from his subjects. Yet we find his seamen both of the Royal Navy and of the Merchant Service prepared to shed their last drop of blood in defence of his honour and that of his country, in what today would be considered trivial matters, the firing of salutes and the dipping of colours. The staunch patriotism of the ill-used seamen (ill-used by Parliament and the nation as a whole) of the early eighteenth century is something that the present generation .... could do well to emulate." From the Preface, penned 1936, by R.Reynell Bellamy, to Ramblin' Jack: the journal of Capt.John Cremer, 1700-1774. p.20. The "staunch patriotism of the ill-used seamen" stemmed perhaps not so much from their love of George I, as from their belief that under a Hanoverian dynasty they were appreciably more free than under earlier dynasties, and that death was preferable to Stuart, French, Spanish or Roman rule.
3rd Nov 1685: "The French persecution of the Protestants raging with the utmost barbarity, exceeded even what the very heathens used: innumerable persons of the greatest birth and riches leaving all their earthly substance and hardly escaping with their lives, dispersed through all the countries of Europe. The French tyrant abrogated the Edict of Nantes ..... on a sudden demolishing their churches, banishing, imprisoning, and sending to the galleys all the ministers; plundering the common people, and exposing them to all sorts of barbarous usage by soldiers sent to ruin and prey on them; taking away their children; forcing people to the Mass, and then executing them as relapsers; they burned their libraries, pillaged their goods, eat up their fields and substance, banished or sent the people to the galleys, and seized on their estates. ... In Holland, Denmark, and all about Germany, were dispersed some hundred thousands; besides those in England, where, though multitudes of all degree sought for shelter and welcome as distressed Christians and confessors, they found least encouragement, by a fatality of the times we were fallen into, and the uncharitable indifference of such as should have embraced them; and I pray it be not laid to our charge." John Evelyn, Diary.
"If in having our ideas in the memory ready at hand consists quickness of parts: in this, of having them unconfused and being able nicely to distinguish one thing from another, where there is but the least difference, consists, in a great measure, the exactness of judgment and clearness of reason which is to be observed in one man above another. And hence perhaps may be given some reason of that common observation, that men who have a great deal of wit, and prompt memories, have not always the clearest judgment or deepest reason. For wit lying most in the assemblage of ideas, and putting those together with quickness and variety, wherein can be found any resemblance or congruity, thereby to make up pleasant pictures and agreeable visions in the fancy: judgment, on the contrary, lies quite on the other side, in separating carefully, one from another, ideas wherein can be found the least difference, thereby to avoid being misled by similitude, and by affinity to take one thing for another." Book II, Chapter XI, para. 2; An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke, Fifth Edition, 1706.
"Locke grasped the idea that political power exists and is exercised only for the public good. The basis of government is consent, and the powers which are wielded by princes and rulers inhere in them, not by any absolute right founded on grant, covenant or otherwise, but on conditions in the nature of a trust, and under liability to forfeiture if the conditions are not fulfilled. ... The purpose of Locke was to justify the English Revolution of 1688. The two Treatises of Government, which were published in 1690, not only confute the doctrine of absolute monarchy founded on divine right but also envisage a political system in conformity with the innovations of the Convention Parliament. Locke sought, as he said, 'to establish the throne of our great Restorer, our present King William, and make good his title in the consent of the people.' In the achievement of his object, he formulated a democracy in which government by the consent and with the goodwill of the governed is the ideal." From the Introduction, by W.S.Carpenter, to John Locke's Two Treatises of Civil Government.
The concept that democracy has any bearing on art is completely alien to the run-of-the-mill English art historian of the 17th and 18th centuries, who is obsessed with the English Country House, and judges painting exclusively in the context of landed property and wealth. The idea that the works of a painter like Monamy could appeal to merchants, naval officers, and modest country gentry, as well embrace a social spectrum from Kensington Palace to the man in the street, is outside their frame of reference.
"Isaac Newton said he had seen farther by standing on the shoulders of giants, but he did not believe it. He was born into a world of darkness, obscurity and magic; led a strangely pure and obsessive life, lacking parents, lovers, and friends; quarreled bitterly with great men who crossed his path; veered at least once to the brink of madness; cloaked his work in secrecy; and yet discovered more of the essential core of human knowledge than anyone before or after. He was chief architect of the modern world. He answered the ancient philosophical riddles of light and motion, and he effectively discovered gravity. He showed how to predict the courses of heavenly bodies and so established our place in the cosmos."
He "lived to be eighty-four, gouty and rich. He died in London at the end of the winter of 1727, a prolonged and excruciating death from a kidney stone. England for the first time granted a state funeral to a subject whose attainment lay in the realm of the mind. The Lord Chancellor, two dukes, and three earls bore the pall, with most of the Royal Society following behind. The corpse lay in state in Westminster Abbey for eight days and was buried in its nave. Above the grave was carved an ornate monument ... with ... angelic boys playing with a prism and weighing the sun and planets. A Latin inscription hailed his 'strength of mind almost divine' and declared: 'Mortals rejoice that there has existed so great an ornament of the human race'."
From Isaac Newton, by James Gleick, pp. 3-5. There can be little doubt that Monamy gazed on Newton's corpse in Westminster Abbey at the end of the winter of 1727. Until about 1739 the influence of Newton is just as detectable in his paintings as that of the Glorious Revolution of 1689, and the Hanoverian Accession of 1714. Intelligentibus.
The amusing extract which follows comes from an edition of the Poetical Works of Thomson and Gray, published by T.Nelson & Sons, 1858. The unnamed editor remarks in his introduction to the lives of these poets: "It is impossible for a literary man of our day to look back upon the age which preceded the time of which we write without feelings of deep shame and degradation. It was the age of private patronage; an age in which readers were so few that men of letters were too often obliged to become the parasites and hangers-on of the rich; an age in which Otway died in the agonies of hunger, and in which Dryden was forced to prostitute his genius to pander to the prurient appetite of a ribald king and a ribald court. Until Pope arose, it is not too much to say that no English writer however eminent, not Dryden, not Congreve, not Addison, was able to earn, by his literary labours alone, a sum equal to that which is now annually earned by a penny-a-liner on the London press. The highest offices in Church and State, bishoprics, deaneries, secretaryships, commissionerships, embassies, were open to the lucky few. But to the many, to ninety-nine out of every hundred of those who made literature their profession, there only existed the alternative of abject penury or abject dependence."
For "writer" above, why not substitute "painter of shipping and sea prospects"; for Pope substitute Monamy; for Otway substitute Brooking (or Chatterton --- Thomas, not E.Keble); for Dryden, if you like, substitute van de Velde, or Scott; and for "ribald king and ribald court" substitute "Walpole administration". Note, however, that artistic prostitution is seldom actually "forced". Marvell's character was admired, extolled and venerated, Dryden's was not.
From American Marine Painting, 1987, by John Wilmerding. "The work by these artists is distinguished not so much by being self-taught --- since many of our leading academic artists were equally untrained in any formal sense --- but being concerned more with abstract design than with illusionism. Primitive paintings were conceptual rather than optical, and thus their standard of success was not in the simulation of a believable three-dimensional space, but in the quality of decorative design. The interest is not in observed but in felt reality, and how that reality is abstracted and organized. Good primitive painting may be recognized by the vitality of the abstract design, and in this it rises above the merely crude or naive." p.25.
Andras Kalman: "The study of English art is overweight with its classical legacy. It has thwarted interest in the heritage of ordinary people: seamen, farmers, innkeepers, tradesmen, village parsons, artisans. ..... Fine art was the realm of the aristocracy, part of whose education consisted of the Grand Tour of Europe. Scholars followed the upper classes in pursuit of classicism, and created a barrier in English art which persists to this day. ..... Art historians, writing in glossy art magazines and museum journals, are inclined to focus considerable attention on some Italian or Flemish painter, quoting one another's writings in endless, pompous appendixes." Preface to English Naive Painting 1750-1900.
From English Naive Painting 1750-1900, by James Ayres: "Naive [is] a word which carries associations of the "primitive", the "amateur", and the "non-academic". But it may in practice be sophisticated in technique, or civilized in terms of the context from whence it sprang, or professional as regards training and payment. ..... some people may argue that no such species as "naive art" exists, and that it is only the aesthetic uncertainties of the twentieth century that have led us to praise the inadequate as naive. No wonder, the argument could run, it took a period such as ours to hail the work of the French customs official Rousseau and the English ship's chandler Alfred Wallis. At a slightly earlier time such painters would have been "corrected" out of existence."
The closer an imitation approaches the object imitated, the less it contains of Art: ie, Art is not Representation. See Ship Models, for the views of Lavery & Stephens ("the artist cannot be bound by the forms of the original"); and those of Joshua Reynolds ("we are not always pleased with the most absolute possible resemblance of an imitation to its original object").
According to an article by Tom Lubbock, in The Independent, 25 Oct 2005, Rubens had the same idea. "Rubens' big idea was well put by one of his greatest followers, Eugène Delacroix. 'Nature is only a dictionary'. The material world is not a model to be copied, it is a resource that the artist draws on to provide the ingredients for his creations in paint."
Right: Mary has a little Lamb --- and P.P.Rubens crushes the Reformation.
The same thought struck Hogarth, it would seem, since he held still-life "in the lowest estimation", and likened ship-painting to it "for, if copied exactly as they chance to appear, the painters have no occasion for judgement". See Article 1983. Also Shaftesbury. It is worth repeating that a progression towards an understanding of this principle took place in ship painting between van de Velde the Elder and J.M.W.Turner --- via Monamy.
From Hervey's Naval History, 1779 edition, p.352. "A plain monument is erected to his memory in Westminster Abbey. The inscription on this monument is as follows:
Sacred to the memory of Philip De Saumarez, Esq. One of the few whose lives ought rather to be measured by their actions than their days. From sixteen to thirty-seven years of age, he served in the navy; and was often surrounded with dangers and difficulties unparalleled; always approving himself an able, active, and gallant officer. He went out a lieutenant on board his majesty's ship the Centurion, under the auspicious conduct of commodore Anson, in his expedition to the South Seas; he was commanding officer of the said ship when she was driven from her moorings at the Island of Tinian.
In the year 1746, being captain of the Nottingham, a sixty gun ship, he (then alone) attacked and took the Mars, a French ship of sixty-four guns. In the first engagement the following year, when Admiral Anson defeated and took a squadron of French men of war and Indiamen, he had an honourable share; and in the second under Admiral Hawke, when the enemy after an obstinate resistance was again routed, in pursuing two ships that were making their escape, he gloriously but unfortunately fell.
He was the son of Matthew de Saumarez of the island of Guernsey, Esq; by Ann Durell of the island of Jersey, his wife.
He was born November 17, 1710; killed October 14, 1747.
Buried in the old church at Plymouth,
With all the honours due to his distinguished merits;
And this monument is erected out of
Gratitude and affection
By his brothers and sisters.
From, let us say, the Battle of Lepanto, 1571 (a myth apparently, recently exploded by Hugh Bicheno) until 1914, the history of Europe and therefore the world, was determined by sea power, the deciding factor in global trade, in comparison with which most of the conflicts fought out on land might as well never have occurred. I don't expect agreement on this point. The seaman's congenital sense of superiority over the landed was based on his mastery of technology, ability to navigate, knowledge of gunnery, understanding of the firmament, and permanent closeness to death. Sea life combined a paradoxical sense of freedom with the harshest discipline: whatever evils prevailed on land, worse things happened at sea. At few times in English history was there a more acute sense of these truths than during the period 1715-1750. Daniel A. Baugh's introduction to his 1977 edition of Naval Administration 1715-1750 makes the following points, pp xiii-xiv, about the "peacetime period" up to 1740.
".... the peacetime period ..... was not so very peaceful. It is true that there were no major wars and only one major fleet action, Sir George Byng's victory off Cape Passaro in 1718, but there were numerous occasions when large squadrons were deployed ..... they all exhibit Britain's readiness to employ her navy as a diplomatic tool and her determination to keep every sea lane open to her trading vessels. .... cruising ships played a key role in the suppression of pirates, the elimination of Blackbeard (Edward Teach) in 1718 and Bartholomew Roberts in 1722 being the most famous instances. Thus the Atlantic was made safer for peacetime shipping than it had ever been, a development that may have had greater impact on the history of the Western world than all the glorious sea battles put together.
That Britain should not only possess a strong navy, but also make regular use of it for these purposes were policies which her governments of the period had to follow. Everyone, except unreconstructed Tories ..... acknowledged the ultimate dependence of British power and government stability on foreign commerce. Whig consensus on this matter, combined with the political clout of the trading interests, assured a reasonably steady Parliamentary provision for naval upkeep. ..... While Sir Robert Walpole, the dominant figure in government, was inclined to reflect on the costs of war, his opponents saw only its opportunities. But there was no disagreement about the permanent importance of British seapower ..... "
In Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times, 1711, Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury, 1671-1713, remarks "A painter, if he has any genius, understands the truth and unity of design and knows he is even then unnatural when he follows nature too close and strictly copies life .... particulars, on this occasion, must yield to the general design .... " p 66, CUP 1999.
"Even genuine signatures are not proof of authorship. It seems probable that many of the drawings were not signed until in hard times the Van de Veldes went through their sketches and sold what they could, the Younger adding his signature as an autograph or sign of ownership. We are warned by Cotman, who wrote of the drawings from his family manufactory, 'little do they ken by whom they are done, when given under my name'." From Van de Velde Drawings, by M.S.Robinson, 1958, p.25.
These life event details were recorded, following research into the microfiche records of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormons, in about 1979. The records available on the internet do not appear to provide as full information as the microfiche records.
Thos Stubly, son of James and Mary, born 15 Jan 1686, Swineshead. Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.
[Tho. Stubly, son of Thos and Ann, born 4th Feb 1722, Swineshead.]
Elizabeth, daughter of Thos & Mary Stubley, bapt 20 Aug 1713, St Paul, Covent Garden
Mary, daughter of Thos & Mary Stubley, bapt 17 Jan 1716, St Paul, Covent Garden
Sarah, daughter of Thos & Mary Stubley, bapt 19 Jul 1721, Holborn St Andrew
Catherine, daughter of Thos & Mary Stubley, bapt 26 June 1722
Ann, daughter of Thos & Mary Stubley, bapt 5 Sep 1723, Holborn St Andrew
The present (May 2003) note of Monamy on the Tate Gallery website has this to say:
"Peter Monamy, 1681-1749. Monamy was born in Jersey, but settled at an early age in London, where he was apprenticed to a sign- and house-painter on London Bridge. There, as a contemporary wrote, 'The shallow waves that rolled under his window taught him what his master could not ... and fitted him to imitate the turbulence of the sea.' Here Monamy produces a highly theatrical version of the theme of the storm-tossed ship. The two vessels are violently buffeted by the force of the wind and the sea." (From the display caption September 2002). See Monamy & Turner, here.
The uncredited 1979 publication The Tate Gallery: an illustrated companion had commented: "Peter Monamy was the first important British marine painter, and though he largely imitated the great Dutch tradition of seascape painting, his 'Ships in Distress' anticipates Turner's stormy sensibility." The 1990 edition, credited to Simon Wilson, removes this reasonable and perceptive remark. In fact, all mention of Monamy is excised, as though, like the guiltless victim of some totalitarian state regime, he had never existed.
The website comment is astounding. The true year of Monamy's birth was finally and firmly established in about 1979 by the discovery of his baptismal record in London. Incredibly, after more than 20 years, the Tate Gallery endorses the birth year of 1681 but mindlessly repeats that he was "born in Jersey" and trots out Horace Walpole's silly little sneer. Monamy died in 1749, yet Walpole, whose words are slightly misquoted, and whose noxious identity is concealed, is called a "contemporary", although his dates are 1717-1797, and he did not publish his Anecdotes until 1780. Why isn't George Vertue, the genuine and honest contemporary, 1684-1756, quoted? Why are Monamy's life and work subjected to constant slights and inaccuracies, and why is simple truth so blatantly disregarded? Who is the more highly theatrical --- Monamy or Turner? À bas the Tate!
No man is well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so little. Samuel Johnson, 7th February 1754
This is the title of an illuminating book by Lawrence Stone, published 1992. In it he gives accounts of "courting and contract marriages, forced marriages, valid clandestine marriages and faked clandestine marriages", that took place between 1660 and 1753. He also draws attention the "peculiar brutality of marital relationships in the period 1690 to 1710." This 20 year period spans the presumed marriage of Peter Monamy to Margaret, 1705, which union is shrouded in uncertainty. Click on date.
In an essay in the Edinburgh Review, 1833, Lord Macaulay unleashed a blistering attack, as the hacks have it, on the 4th Lord Orford: " .... as the pâté-de-foie-gras owes its excellence to the diseases of the wretched animal which furnishes it, and would be good for nothing if it were not made of livers preternaturally swollen, so none but an unhealthy and disorganised mind could have produced such literary luxuries as the works of Walpole." One lord need not love another. But who reads Macaulay today? Tom is far too enjoyably cocksure for this age of mediocrity. "He is always in a storm of revolt and indignation against wrong, craft, tyranny. How he cheers heroic resistance; how he backs and applauds freedom struggling for its own; how he hates scoundrels, ever so victorious and successful; how he recognizes genius, though selfish villains possess it!" Thwackeray.
In Essays in English History, A.J.P.Taylor writes, pp 17-18: "The Whig interpretation of history is easy to define; all our political thinking rests on it. It is the story of English liberty, founded by Magna Carta, consolidated by the Glorious Revolution, expanded by the great Reform Bill, and reaching its highest achievement with the Labour Government." Taylor was writing in 1950. "It is the doctrine of history as Progress ..... Liberty ought to be a revolutionary doctrine, the creed of a minority; in England it has become traditional, respectable, universally accepted. This is the result of the Glorious Revolution. True Toryism perished in 1688 or, at any rate, with the Hanoverian succession. ..... In practice, as Macaulay observed, Toryism amounts to no more than defending Whig achievements of a previous generation. In the world of ideas, the Tories have had to make do with unprincipled adventurers, like Bolingbroke and Disraeli, or to borrow from the other side. Burke ..... was a corrupt Whig hack". A.J.P.Taylor's opinion.
Daniel Defoe had pointed out in 1701 that the true-born Englishman was mostly nothing but the product of an amphibious ill-born mob of foreign immigrants and refugees. By 1740, with the blast of war in their ears, the ill-born mobsters were urged, by means of an account, by the great Dr. Johnson no less, of the life of Robert Blake in the Gentleman's Magazine, to present an undivided front. Undaunted Blake, whose ghost had been haunting Westminster since the Restoration crew had dug up his bones from the Abbey, was "said to have received the Homage of all [the Mediterranean]: Being equally courted by the haughty Spaniards, the surly Dutch, and the lawless Algerines." Blake, thundered the GM, had declared that it was "not the Business of a Seaman to mind State-Affairs, but to hinder Foreigners from fooling us .... remember that we are English, and our Enemies are Foreigners. Enemies! which let whatever Party soever prevail, it is equally the Interest of our Country to humble and restrain." In fact, of course, the crafty seaman was keenly minded to concern himself with state affairs. No doubt he therefore read The Craftsman, along with the Gentleman's Magazine. Or he would have done, had The Craftsman not ceased publication in 1736 [this date needs checking]. Its melodies, however, lingered on --- whenever it ceased.