Gravesend: looking South-West
see map

à bout de souffle
Page Thirty-Three: Addendum Gravesend

Same town; different shipping; artistically licensed.

From The Call of the Sea, Monamy & Brooking exhibition catalogue, 2009.

The above painting is one of at least three closely similar works, and may fairly be placed in the very reasonably certain category. My conjecture is that it represents a generalised illustration of the arrival of George I in 1714, and that it, and several others like it, would have been commissioned and bought by Londoners and trade guilds wanting to proclaim their loyalty to the Hanoverian succession. There would have been customers for such pictures anything up to ten or fifteen years after the event, even overlapping the accession of unpopular George II in 1727. This is, in point of serious, true and actual fact, by far the most widely reproduced image of this particular royal yacht, pace Bonhams' catalogue, and its confusing notes.

How are the discrepancies between the catalogue notes, above and at left, to be accounted for ? One difference worth mentioning is that the Monamy/Brooking catalogue, in 2009, provides a source for its assertion. Another interesting fact is that the picture in Grocer's Hall has been there since it was painted, circa 1714-24 AD. I believe.

About 300 years. God help us. What about the date of arrival ? "Partly due to contrary winds, which kept him in The Hague awaiting passage, he did not arrive in Britain until 18 September." Wikipedia, quoting Ragnhild Hatton.Furthemore, why bring up these details about George I's arrival in the first place, if the picture in Bonhams' catalogue can be "fairly precisely" dated to 1707-1714, and supposedly shows Queen Anne's Royal Consort, died 1708, sailing to Chatham, on the Medway ?

An almost totally fictitious curriculum vitae has gradually been developed for Monamy, complete with an ever-expanding number of misattributions, and utterly spurious latter-day fabrications. But, does it matter, and who cares, anyway ?

One correspondent has put it as follows. He wrote: "I read that many historians believe that many of the paintings attributed to Monamy may have, in fact, been created by others during a period where this type of art was becoming very popular, and presumably profitable, and I gather it is virtually impossible to make any certain determination with regard to work that is attributed to Monamy."

Up to a point, Lord Copper. "Only he who is directly interested in a thing, and occupies himself with it from love of it, will pursue it with entire seriousness. It is from such as these, and not from wage-earners, that the greatest things have always come." Arthur Schopenhauer, 1851. Agreed, few people care to spoil a good story with the truth, as an Irish art curator once put it to me, but there may nevertheless still be one or two around who find truth more beautiful than fiction..

opening page
last page

see pages 9, 10, 11 of this jeremiad of lamentation and despair

All truth passes through three stages. 1) It is ridiculed. 2) It is violently opposed. 3) It is accepted as self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer

gravesend again
tilbury again
medway & thames
chronology & authenticity
monamy prints
monamy website index

Has the fourth quarter been fudged ?
If that's not a white horse in the oil painting, what the hell is it ?
Seems to be almost absolutely certain that this picture was not painted before 1714.
However, it was quite definitely painted before 1990.

"Forgeries are more real than the real art they fake." Jonathon Keats.


Bad money drives out good.


George I authority, 1994.



© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2014
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