Phase Three: 1731-1739

Two paintings said to be dated 1734 in this period seem to me uninteresting, particularly the calm, which strikes me as a very dull piece. Although it might be redeemed slightly by reproduction in colour, it contrasts unfavourably with the spirited yacht portrait, dated 1738, and the racing yachts which were probably painted at about the same time. The years 1733-1735, I suspect, were a lean period for the painter. Business may have picked up again following the re-opening of Vauxhall Gardens, in 1736.

The mezzotint detail, left, from Faber's print dated 1731 after Stubley's portrait, is included here as evidence that by the time of the portrait, say 1730, Monamy wished it to be known that he included storm scenes in his marine repertoire. It may be an indication that he considered these to be more representative of his work than the calm in the Hamilton conversation piece, or, at least, of greater interest to him personally. For storms, see here.

signed and dated 1732 ?

signed and dated 1734

signed and dated 1734; 22 x 23¼

signed and dated 1734

When I saw this painting I was unable to tell whether the date following the signature was 1734 or 1736, but Robinson calls it a "poor painting" and dates it firmly to 1734. It is therefore more likely that 1734 is the correct date. It is the only painting datable to this decade which can be unequivocally linked with van de Velde: a semi-historical battle-piece.

Cockett, p.52, gives this as dated 1735, signed P.Monamy.

Signed. Datable to 1738. Courtesy RCYC.

Vauxhall Gardens: print 1743 after painting, probably 1738/39

The first line engravings after Monamy's paintings appeared in 1743. In my view these can be divided as follows: a first pair, Sweet William's Farewell and the Algerine Pirates; a second pair, the Capture of Porto Bello and the Taking of the San Joseph; and the fifth, the Capture of the Princesa, first date of issue uncertain. The first pair, I suspect, would have been on view in Vauxhall Gardens somewhat before, or perhaps at the same time as, Vernon set sail for Porto Bello in July 1739, since they are anticipatory of conflict, rather than immediately topical. These prints were engraved by Fourdrinier. The second pair are direct reportage, and were engraved by a different and less obviously skilled engraver, Remigius Parr. The inference is that they were more hastily and cheaply produced. The fifth engraving was also by Parr, and appears to have been even more of a rushed job. A much later and rather suspect source states that it was also on display in the Gardens.

Cockett, p.56, dates this post-1740 on the basis of the building's completion.
The print by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck, associated with it, is dated 27th March, 1739.


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