Baston, Monamy & Claude

Timeline: to the Accession of George II, 1727.
Timeline: from the Accession of George II to 1750.


John Sturt and Bernard Lens set up a drawing school where apprentices and young engravers might take extra lessons.
(Clayton; p.13).

Right: mezzotint by Bernard Lens.      

End of war with France.

The instructional impact of the school founded by Sturt and Lens upon the young apprentices and engravers who attended it would surely repay investigation. In default of knowledge of any such study, one may suspect that prints formed the bulk of the visual sources employed. There were no prints after either van de Velde, at this time, I believe. In 1697 Peter Monamy would have been a young apprentice, aged 16, and it is far from unlikely that he attended the school, from time to time. Doubtless Thomas Baston, perhaps aged about 25, would also have taken some interest in the school's activities.

The Influence of Claude


Q2: Was Turner not strongly influenced by the sunlight of Claude Lorrain? [Claude lived 1600-1682.]

A: The question of Claude's early influence on English marine painting is discussed here on the website pages dealing with Thomas Baston's prints. Turner was of course directly inspired by Claude, but it is not impossible that his interest was first prompted by youthful notice of Baston's engravings. I believe it is of some art-historical significance that prints after Claude were relatively easily available in the first decades of the 1700s. It is curious that there appear to be no oil paintings by Baston. A great quantity of engravings after Claude was published by Boydell in 1776 and 1777, and it is perhaps more likely that Turner was directly inspired by these. I cannot instance any obviously documented link between Monamy's light-filled sunsets and Claude's work, but it may be there. On the other hand some of the purely compositional elements in Monamy's paintings appear to be directly parallelled by Turner. Perhaps there are sources common to both Monamy and Turner.

In my opinion, Monamy took note of the works of Claude, if not as intensively as Turner, at least to a quite discernible degree. I have no doubt whatsoever that Turner was also fully aware of the works of Monamy.


claude and monamy

See Baston

"other famous masters in this manner"
monamy's legacy

monamy website index

Left: Etching by Claude; detail

See Lighthouses

© Charles Harrison Wallace 2004, 2007
all rights reserved

mail here