The paintings of Humphrey Vale, as I am only beginning to appreciate, make an interesting contrast and comparison with the paintings of Monamy. Both painters, in their youth, had clearly been attentive pupils at the same school, about a million miles from the fine art academy of the van de Veldes. Vale seems very comparable to Monamy, but Monamy's naval and City contacts were probably better, his retail outlet on London Bridge was strategically well located, his move to Westminster was well timed and well advised, and his very probable acquisition of van de Velde drawings during the 1720s gave him a winning edge. Both painters must have suffered in the suspected declining market after the accession of George II in 1727, which consolidated Walpole's power and ushered in a period of changing taste among the virtuosi. Monamy survived through the early 1730s, but the Vales appear to have gone under by the time Vauxhall Gardens opened. There is also a strong suggestion of rivalry between Byng and Leake: Byng won, and his patronage went to Monamy. Vale seems to have been initially favoured by Leake.


Cape Passaro

BARCELONA Releiv'd by Sr John Leake Vice Admiral of the White and Commander in Chief of ye Confederate Fleet       April ye 27th. Anno 1706.

Relief of Barcelona: signed H.Vale

Capture of the Real San Felipe at Cape Passaro: signed H.Vale

More on Humphrey & Robert Vale

Relief of Barcelona: Byng       Battle of Cape Passaro: Byng
battles pre 1704       battles 1704-1739       battles post 1739
battle paintings pre 1704

monamy website index

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