Item No 35 in Rule Britannia!   A Loan Exhibition of Marine Works of Art, mounted by Sotheby, 2-29 January 1986, in aid of the RNLI. 32 x 52.
Utterly unlike anything painted by the van de Veldes, from whom all maritime art derives.


There are a number of landward depictions, prints and oil paintings, of Fort St.George, Madras, of varying quality, onwards from the early 1700s. The probability of this example being by Lambert and Scott is virtually nil. The nautical knowledge, observation and precision with which the scene has been portrayed much exceed the interests and abilities of either Scott or Lambert. It reminds me, to some extent, of Monamy's painting of Castle Cornet.

This perceived similarity, real or imagined, to the Castle Cornet panorama, inset right, led me at first to attribute the Madras painting to Monamy. Looking at it more attentively I've now come to think of it as possibly by Brooking, leading me to suspect the Guernsey vista also to be by Brooking, when working for Monamy at an earlier date, perhaps about 1743. This picture could then have followed within another couple or four years; say by 1747.

This page has not much directly to do with Monamy. It has been prompted following an enquiry about the authorship of a portrayal of Fort St George attributed to Jan van Ryne. This authorship was queried, which led to a further investigation of the other representations of this fort during the C18th. Below is the painting in question.

On the basis of the rendering of the shipping, and the sea, I ventured to suggest, if faced with a choice at gunpoint, that the above painting might be by Swaine. I would be happy to defer to anyone with enough evidence to know better. At left, for comparison, is a depiction of Fort St David by Swaine, 13 x 17. Ignore the palette. Below is a print of Fort St George after Jan van Ryne. It is sufficiently unlike the picture above to make one suspect two different hands.

Fort St George, c 1731, by Scott & Lambert; engraved by van der Gucht

monamy panoramas
castle cornet

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