All art is cannibalistic ........

The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast sea; the moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun;
The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The moon into salt tears .....



the above figures have not been identified beyond question or doubt


Elizabeth Castle, Jersey: by Monamy

Elizabeth Castle, Jersey: by Brooking

The hypothesis developed on this and other pages is that Brooking was a frequent visitor to the Monamy studio from about 1735 until about 1745. He may have initially attended as a pupil and assistant. Later there was perhaps some commercial arrangement whereby occasional Brooking works were sold as Monamy in return for use of materials and facilities. Monamy had the strong brand name, and the means of distribution, although his outlets finally proved less than satisfactory. Both the aging Monamy and the young Brooking seem to have been exploited by dealers and print sellers.


The only evidence for this theory is anecdotal, and in the paintings themselves, since there is no documentary record. But I will assume the theory to be fact.

Compare the moon's light on water in the details, left. Brooking saw the Monamy painting, r, when he started work in the studio in 1738, aged 15. For his first signed canvas, 1739-40, he followed the Monamy style, l. Very soon this rather unrealistic rendering changed significantly to a more naturalistic manner and palette. Monamy must have changed earlier.

One of the characteristics of Monamy is a softness of treatment, especially in some of the sunsets and sunrises. This is also apparent in early Brooking, before, as David Joel has remarked, his paintings took on an almost enamel-like hardness, particularly noticeable in the water of his later pictures, insofar as they are datable.

The Brooking is worth looking at again, more closely. The softness certainly signals that it is early for Brooking, ie before about 1748. A beautiful picture, if slightly candy box.

Sunset. A ship-rigged Royal Yacht in a light air with another yacht and a cutter.
9½ x 14¾. Signed C.Brooking. Joel p.59.

Brooking, signed Monamy ?

chronology & authenticity
brooking & monamy: fire       brooking & monamy: light
brooking & monamy: storms      brooking & monamy: various
monamy & brooking & van de velde: a squadron beating to windward
monamy & brooking & van de velde & south foreland & the downs

monamy moonlight oils
a century of moonlight
monamy website index

© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2004, 2013
all rights reserved