Hogarth's wavy, serpentine line is, well, wavy, and applies rather easily to rather many of Monamy's waves. Though to none of Scott's, since Scott didn't paint any. The Analysis of Beauty was not published until 1753, but is the fruit of earlier reading and, doubtless, discussion by Hogarth with contemporaries, presumably worked out to a degree, at the St Martin's Academy which he founded in 1735, as noted by Paulson in his 1997 edition of the A of B, p liv. Paulson also remarks that "George Vertue noted as early as 1745 that the Line of Beauty was a frequent topic of Hogarth's conversation", and also that "Hogarth's attack on dealers and connoisseurs was embraced by his colleagues, the other artists in the St Martin's Lane Academy, who in the 1730s felt as threatened as he by the competition of foreign art." pp xviii and xix.


It is difficult not to suppose that Monamy will at least have dipped into the literary works assumed of interest to English artists during his 45 years of painting. Here is a short list of possibles, with dates of publication. The theme of discussion gradually shades away from the creator to the buyer, advised by the connoisseur.

1702. Lamy, Bernard: A Treatise of Perspective, or, the Art of Representing All Manner of Objects as They Appear to the Eye in All Situations. Containing the Elements of Designing and Painting. Written originally in French and faithfully translated into English by an officer of his Majesty's Ordnance (A. Forbes).
1704. Elsum, John: The Art of Painting after the Italian Manner.
1706. Piles, Roger de: The Art of Painting and the Lives of the Painters.
1715. Brooke Taylor, Dr: Linear Perspective.
1716. Du Fresnoy, Claude Alphonse: The Art of Painting, With Remarks.
1719. Richardson, Jonathan: Two Discourses. 1. An Essay on the whole art of criticism as it relates to Painting. 2. An Argument in behalf of the Science of a Connoisseur.
1726. First English edition of Dubreuil's The Practice of Perspective, known as the Jesuit's Perspective.

Left: the title page of the rare second English edition of the Jesuit's Perspective, published in 1739 by Thomas and John Bowles. Virtually nothing on ship- or sea-painting occurs in any of these books.

By 1702 Monamy would have embarked on the "constant practice", which finally brought him "into reputation" by about 1720. It took another ten or fifteen years for this reputation to be destroyed by "the science of the connoisseurs". Hogarth may be said to have started on his career in 1720.

Monamy's pictures show some French influence, as well as Dutch. Perhaps the most internationally influential Dutch publication was Het Groot Schilderboek, by Gerard de Lairesse, 1640-1711, published in Amsterdam in 1707. It was not translated until 1738, when it was published in London as The Art of Painting.

Triangles, pyramids, and the all-seeing eye
were an iconographic obsession in the C18th.

"The authors ... of as fine a group of figures in sculpture, as ever was made ..... (I mean Laocoon and his two sons) chose to be guilty of the absurdity of making the sons of half the father's size, tho' they have every other mark of being design'd for men, rather than not bring their composition within the boundary of a pyramid." From Hogarth's The Analysis of Beauty, 1753, Chapter IV.

"Lomazzo ..... hath this remarkable passage, vol I book I: 'It is reported then that Michael Angelo vpon a time gaue this observation to the Painter Marcus de Sciena his scholler; that he should alwaies make a figure Pyramidal, Serpentlike, and multiplied by one two and three. In which precept (in mine opinion) the whole mysterie of the arte consisteth .....'" From the Preface to The Analysis of Beauty.


Analysis of Beauty
Hogarth, Monamy, and The Connoisseurs
Masonic Constructions
monamy website index

Triangles superimposed by J.M.W.Turner over a print of The Transfiguration by Raphael, to illustrate one of his lectures on composition, presented when Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy.

From The World of Turner, 1969, by Diana Hirsh, p 82.

"The moral of the whole is clear: connoisseurship
is the mortal enemy of the native practitioner"
Joseph Burke, editor of The Analysis of Beauty, 1955, Introduction, p. xv.

      Title Page of Vathek
William Beckford

did monamy meet mr walker on the square?

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the base of a frame encasing a painting by caspar david friedrich

© Charles Harrison Wallace 2004, 2012
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