Capture of Louisbourg, 1745. Signed Monamy. 27½ x 52¾. National Maritime Museum.


In 1745 Louisbourg, now in Canada, was taken on 17th June, or 28th June, new style. Captain Philip Durell, Eltham, 40, was present with Warren at this occasion. He produced a map of the harbour; see here. The port was returned to the French at the Peace of Aix-la-Chappelle, but recaptured in 1758.

Capture of Louisbourg/Louisburg/Louisberg, 1745. From Pannonia Galleries Catalogue, New York, 1982.
"Authenticity guaranteed"

The above painting is firmly ascribed to Peter Monamy in the gallery exhibition catalogue. However, certain differences from the NMM painting seem to suggest that it is a later copy, possibly executed after Monamy's death in 1749. This painting has come on the market again since 1982. See below. The Pannonia Galleries catalogue reproduces the image in the correct sense, as above. In its many current (August 2007) reproductions on the internet the image has been reversed. Difficult to know why, but typical of commercial indifference to accuracy.

The cloud formation in the upper painting has been particularly well observed.

Below is another view of Louisbourg from the sea, the image taken from Christie's catalogue, 5 May, 1994. The relationship between this and the above two pictures is obscure. This definitely looks like a later painting by another hand., and I would settle for Brooking, c 1750.

Could this oil conceivably be related to the drawing, below ?

Possibly by J.H.Bastide, c 1700-1770, military engineer, Lieutenant-General in 1770.
In 1746, Warren stayed with the Bastide family in Boston.

A mezzotint, 8½ x 15: artist, engraver, and publisher unknown: courtesy Dianne O'Neill, Nova Scotia.

Comparison of oil with mezzotint: all these depictions seem to derive, in part, from the Monamy oil. Note clouds.

Below is a plan of the harbour and coastal fortifications at Louisbourg. This plan is credited to N.Bellin, published in Leipzig, and dated to some time in the 1750s. Unfortunately, although it must definitely post-date Monamy's death in 1749, it is not clear to me whether or not it pre-dates the capture of 1758. However, it appears to be based on the map published in 1747 by Emanuel Bowen, which in turn may have been based on the map produced by Captain Philip Durell, shortly after the first capture of Louisbourg in 1745. Durell's map appears to have been produced in close collaboration with J.H.Bastide, who also appears to have been rather more qualified as a map-maker than Durell. A student of Bastide's was Richard Gridley, who also produced a map of Louisbourg, published slightly later. See here for further examination of these maps.

From: The Royal Navy and North America, ed Gwyn, J. 1973
The role of Philip Durell is amply referenced in this study, published by The Navy Records Society.

Because the ships depicted below seemed to me rather reminiscent of each other, I wondered if Willem van der Hagen might not have had a hand in the Louisbourg painting. See here for van der Hagen's painting of Cork Harbour, 1738. By about 1745/46 Monamy and van der Hagen would both have been virtually at the end of their lives --- if van der Hagen was not already dead. The resemblance is not claimed to be great.

Central section: van der Hagen's painting of Cork Harbour.

Below: mezzotint and oil portrait details

battles: introductory comments
louisbourg map sources
louisbourg print selection
porto louisbourg 1758
monamy website index
artistic range


© Charles Harrison Wallace 2006, 2007
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