"When a thing is asserted as a fact, always ask who first reported it, and what means he had of knowing the truth."
James Spedding, 1808 - 1881.

à bout de souffle

Page Nine


Photo below excerpted from coverage by the ILN of the RA Exhibition of British Art, 1934.
When being British still had meaning.

Forty-seven years later the royal personage has become a royal passenger. The same painting, from Sir Ellis Waterhouse:
The Dictionary of British 18th Century Painters in oils and crayons, 1981, p 243.
Very much NOT in the spirit of the younger Willem van de Velde, Sir Ellis, I regret to demur. Take a butcher's here.
Poor Sir Ellis once complained that he had been forced to study English painting. Sad for him --- and us.

" ... 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

Not the same painting, but exactly the same scene. A clearer detail view of the background buildings.
There are at least three known versions, all signed and very similar, of this singularly important Royal Occasion.
34 x 47. Signed. "The Arrival of George I in the Peregrine Royal Yacht." Grocer's Livery Company. City of London.
For several years quite idiotically mis-titled in Grocer's Hall as "A Fleet Review".

This is exactly what is happening: "His Majesty and the Prince were escorted with a squadron, commanded by the Earl of Berkeley, to Lower Hope, and on the 18th September the royal yacht got under way. His Majesty on passing Gravesend was waited upon by the Mayor. He then entered his barge and landed at Greenwich about six in the evening." History of the Thames Watermen, Henry Humpherus. This uniquely important event in English history, the Hanoverian Accession, took place in 1714. The King, in his barge, is being rowed by Thames watermen, with bargemaster. The Peregrine is lowering the royal standard and firing a ceremonial salute. In the distance is Tilbury fort.       At least, I think it is.

The view from Gravesend, 18 September, 1714.

Sotheby. Wednesday 15 July 1998. British Paintings 1500-1850. Lot 10.
What a delirious hoot! Some research-challenged auction-house minion had failed to discover in 1998, what had been known for 18 years, that Monamy was born in 1681, not 1670. Then he or she summons a spurious date and specious event out of thin air. This image, and its identification, is now splashed all over the internet. It has spread like a computer virus.

George II ? Margate ? Carolina ? Return from Hanover ? September 1729 ?
bears signature l.l. ? Is it being suggested the signature is a fake?

What would the Thames watermen, and bargemaster, and barge, be doing in Margate?

I think we need yet another page in connection with these Royal Occasions.

"The power of art is ..... the power to hold our gaze across the years or centuries."
Keith Miller, TLS, December 1, 2006, p.18

"Truth is born into this world only with pangs and tribulations, and every fresh truth is received unwillingly. "
Alfred Russel Wallace

Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.
Cato, according to Plutarch.
Fools are far too up themselves ever to learn anything from anybody, of course.

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chronology & authenticity
royal occasions
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Lord Mayor's Water-Procession on the Thames in 1683. Royal Collection. Time-honoured tradition of London Painter-Stainers.
Totally uninfluenced by van de Veldes, whether elder, younger, or convertible. British School. Acquired by Queen Victoria.

© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2012
all rights reserved