Sea Power. The Painted Hall: Greenwich

      Before the Calms

This was to have been a lengthy disquisition on art and sea power, history, art, art and history, art-history, and the history of art; including deep ruminations on roots and background, influences by and on, politics, religion, stupidity, commerce, market forces, democracy, class animosity, preciosity, and snobbery.

Realising, after reading through the first draft, the tediousness of all this verbiage, it went for erasure, and a few pictures of Thornhill's Painted Hall have been inserted instead, to fill in the time before facing the calms, and the rest.

Thornhill, lr: 1 per sq yard for the walls
3 per sq yard for the ceiling

Over a nineteen year period, 1708-1727, Sir James Thornhill was paid a total of 6,685-2-4 for the Painted Hall at Greenwich, the equivalent in 1717 of 677,125 in 2001: very roughly 35,600 per annum.


Hogarth, Thornhill's son-in-law. has this to say: "Note, the upper end of the hall where the royal family is painted, was left chiefly to the pencil of Mr Andrea a foreigner, after the payment originally agreed upon for the work was so much reduced, as made it not worth Sir James's while to finish the whole with his own more masterly hand." Paulson notes of Andrea: "Dietrich Ernst, a Pole, c 1680-1734?" Analysis of Beauty, 1753, ed Paulson 1997, p 92.

Sea Power. The Painted Hall: Greenwich

Victoria Navales
Classe Hisp: deleto 1588
Classe Coll: Capt & incense: ad La Hogue 1692
Capta & Incensa Galli & Hisp: ad Vigum 1702
Calpe expug: & Galli: vict: 1704
Barcelona expug: 1705
Liberata & Galli fug: 1706
Classe Gallica fugata ad Fretum Edenburg: 1707
Sardinia & Balearis minor capta 1708
Classe Hisp: delata ad Oros Sicilia 1718

The battle roll selected for distinctive honour on the scroll, left, during these years, in the wake of the Hanoverian Succession, is highly significant. From the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 the memory leaps to La Hogue in 1692; and concludes with the repulse of James III off Edinburgh by Byng, after his Blockade of Dunkirk; followed by the Capture of Minorca, and the annihilation of the Spanish Fleet off Cape Passaro, Sicily, by Byng in 1718. These now largely forgotten victories were clearly regarded as of crucial importance to the survival of the Protestant nation until the accession of George II in 1727: hence their commemoration in several of Monamy's paintings of contemporary history.

sir james thornhill & sir nikolaus pevsner
exceptional marines
calms, calms, calms
prints & oils
monamy site index

self-portrait of a bankrupt painter
artistically, socially and financially eclipsed

      below: his only seascape      

Storm on the Sea of Galilee   -   Rembrandt


© Charles Harrison Wallace 2003, 2013
all rights reserved