"It is dangerous to be right when established authority is wrong." Voltaire
"Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness.
A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing,
either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals."
George Orwell, first published in the TLS, 1972
The truth, as Roger de Piles memorably remarked, is that: "There are some curious men who form an idea of a master, by the sight of three or four of his pictures; and who, after this, believe they have a sufficient authority to decide what his manner is; without considering what care the painter took about them, and what age he was of when he drew them. ..... There is none also that had not his beginning, his progress, and his end; that is to say, three manners." This comes from the English translation of the Art of Painting, 1706.
Monamy's Progress and End
"by constant practice he distinguisht himself and came into reputation"
On this page an attempt will be made to summarise the fifteen years 1734-1749; ie completing Monamy's post-crisis progress, followed up to his end. In the years from 1734, Walpole increasingly sought to extend his power, and the opposition to him increasingly solidified. Walpole's son, Horace, firmly relegated Monamy to the reign of George I, even though Monamy survived this reign by another 20 years.
The Walpole-sponsored impact of Scott on Monamy's career is discussed here and here. Scott secured the East India Company's commission for six topographical scenes in collaboration with Lambert in 1732, one of which is shown here. See Jeremy Black, Walpole in Power, 2001, page 84.
How many paintings could realistically have been produced by Monamy, and his studio, during his last fifteen years ? One a month ? On average, ten a year ? 150 over 15 years ? Seems unlikely, with many paintings "begun and unfinished", as Vertue put it, at the time of his death.
Whatever his productivity during the years 1734-1749, I have discovered only two compositions by Monamy in this period which have the slightest connection with anything by van de Velde. Those two paintings are shown below.
Monamy's composition is based on van de Velde's Ham House decoration, but re-arranged.
The pictures below seem to be a preparatory run-up to the Vauxhall display painting, above.
Monamy's painting seems to be directly based on the above Kirkall mezzotint.
From 1734 onwards Monamy appears to have been anticipating the conflict with Spain which would erupt in 1740, leading eventually to the ousting of Walpole in 1742. The above two paintings would have drawn inspiration from past triumphs by English seamen against overwhelming odds, thereby stiffening sinews and summoning up blood for the coming war. The opportunity for a public display was provided by the development of Vauxhall Gardens. The subject matter required research into past depictions.
However, the bulk of Monamy's output during the post-1734 years was of quite a different nature, and shows no influence at all of van de Velde. See below.
See also here, here, here.
His progress: 1728-1740. Twelve years.
His end: 1741-1749. Eight years.
Second & third stages
Take a look at the pages addressing the chronology of Monamy's works.
Some useful reading: random titles
Lambert, Ralph: A Sermon preach'd to the Protestants of Ireland residing in London, 1708
Burton, Robert = Crouch, Nathaniel: Martyrs in Flames: or The History of Popery. 3rd edition, 1729.
Beattie, John M.: The English Court in the Reign of George I. 1967.
Rogers, Nicholas: Resistance to Oligarchy, 1725-1747 [in London in the Age of Reform]. 1977.
Hatton, Ragnhild: George I, Elector and King. [Essential reading.] 1978
Baxter, Stephen : England's Rise to Greatness, 1660-1763. 1983.
Lowry, H.Graham: How the Nation was Won, 1630-1754. 1987. [Anti-Walpole Americana.]
Gerrard, Christine: The Patriot Opposition to Walpole, 1725-1742. 1994. [Omits painting.]
Claydon & McBride : Protestantism and National Identity, 1998.
Galinou, Mireille : City Merchants and the Arts 1670-1720. 2004.
Haynes, Clare: Pictures and Popery, 1660-1760. 2006.
Reilly, Tom: Cromwell was Framed, Ireland 1649. 2014. [A tough read.]
"Never spoil a good story with the truth": Irish saying.
"An unexamined life is worthless": Socrates/Plato modified.
conversation pieces: a closer look