MOONLIGHT ONE (A): MORE OIL PAINTINGS

The first example, below, is a virtual exact match with the Bowles print, published 1745/6. The next paintings continue the theme, but vary the secondary ship at centre right, and the attitudes and grouping of the figures, centre foreground..


27 x 37


22½ x 37¾, signed, Christie's 16/3/84 (52).


Dimensions unknown. Leggatt, London, 1950


27 x 35, signed, Christie's 19/11/82 (57).
This is not a match with the print, as claimed in the catalogue

The repetition of the moonlight theme and the central yacht, with variations in other shipping, undeniably suggests a form of "manufactory" production. The top painting, since the print after it was published 1745/6, may be thought of as the last in the sequence.


22 x 30, signed. The coastal town has been described as "probably Southampton".
Sotheby 14 July 1976 (159)


25 x 38½, Sotheby 20 Mar 1974 (119)

Were it not for the considerable difference in dimension of the next two paintings, they might almost be thought of as a pair. The introduction of trees and foliage in these scenes seems to anticipate Gainsborough, and appears to be another instance of the typical passages introduced by Monamy, later followed in English painting. Ships undergoing careening, as in the lower two images, are an earlier theme in Dutch art, but rarely, to my knowledge, in van de Velde.


18 x 36 signed


25 x 46 signed and dated 1730. Duke of Norfolk.


Dimensions unknown. Leggatt 1952

Another moonlight canvas, with a ship being careened right, is known, but my image of this painting is too poor to be shown. Its dimensions are 28 x 36, and it was sold as "T.Buttersworth", at Christie's 20 Nov 1933 (125), and again, with attribution to Monamy, Christie's 18/19 October 1973 (12). It has also been attributed to Brooking, which seems a very improbable ascription.

The Getty Provenance Database records 18 moonlight scenes attributed to Monamy, up for auction at sales held between 1756 and 1840.

back to one: moonlight oils
two: moonlight prints after monamy
three: later moonlight prints
four: moonlight by other artists: four a ditto
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