Vandeveld Pinxt. Printed for John Bowles at the Black Horse in Cornhil & Carington Bowles in St Paul's Church Yard, London
compare print below


68¾ x 121, signed C.Brooking Pinx. Presented to the Foundling Hospital 1754.
compare Tate Gallery painting, below.

Left: a strictly limited inventory of the treasures of the Foundling Hospital, as listed and described by Thomas Martyn in his The English Connoisseur, 1767. What is curious is not the inclusion of three paintings by Hogarth, or the two by Highmore, or the one by Hayman, but the mention of Monamy's "large and beautiful sea-piece" coupled with the omission of Brooking's equally large sea-piece, which was painted to match it. There are, of course, numerous other omissions. However, there is something distinctly odd about the disappearance of Monamy's sea-piece, which is said to have occurred some time before 1909.

It is very tempting to suppose that Martyn, whose book was published 8 years after Brooking's death, was confusing the two paintings. Brooking's picture seems to me to match the description "large and beautiful sea-piece of the English Fleet in the Downs" very closely. How could it be better described?

from c1753

This section looks at those painters who may (or may not) have been influenced by examples of the native marine genre which preceded them; notably Brooking, Swaine and Turner. The thought that Brooking had anything at all to do with Monamy has been vehemently opposed, although the reasons for this opposition have not been explained. It seems necessary to look closely at what factual evidence there is, both biographical and painterly, which either supports or refutes the suppositions expressed above.

Fact Brooking senior worked on the Eddystone Lighthouse, Plymouth, c 1710
Fact Monamy painted 3 pictures of the Eddystone Lighthouse, c 1710-1725.
Fact Brooking senior was active in Ireland c 1720s.
Fact Several of Monamy's paintings were for Irish clients; eg RCYC c 1722.
Fact No London birth record for Charles Brooking c 1723.
Fact No London birth record for Mary Monamy, probably born c 1720-22.
Fact Monamy's Moonlight & Burning Ship in conversation piece, c 1732.
Fact Brooking senior registers his son Charles, aged 9 or 10, as his apprentice, 1732.
Fact Death of Brooking senior in London, 1738. Brooking junior aged 15.
Fact Brooking's first paintings, Moonlight & Burning Ship, 1740.
Fact 1740-1750: several paintings signed Monamy, painted in Brooking manner.
Fact 1740-1749: several certainly authentic Monamys, totally unlike Brooking manner.
Fact From 1749, several identical engravings, attributed to either Monamy or Brooking.
Fact 1746-1749: Monamy said to have worked for "dealers".
Fact 1750-1753: Brooking "exploited" by dealers.
Fact 1749: Samuel Wale publishes engraving of large ship piece in Foundling Hospital.
Fact 1751: Vertue mentions Monamy's "large ship piece" in Foundling Hospital Dining Room.
Fact 1754: Brooking commissioned to paint picture to "match" Monamy ship piece.
Fact 1754-1845. No recorded mention of Brooking's Foundling Hospital painting.
Fact From 1760, mentions of "Monamy's" painting as Fleet in the Downs.
Fact Brooking's Foundling Hospital painting fits description of Fleet in the Downs.
Fact Engraving which matches section of Brooking's picture called View of South Foreland.
Fact From 1858 onwards no mention at all of painting by Monamy in Foundling Hospital.
Fact Only Brooking's painting can be seen in Foundling Hospital.
Fact When Brooking was 20, Monamy was 62. Would have liked to retire; had to keep working.

south foreland
chronology & authenticity
brooking: early years
brooking & monamy: fire       brooking & monamy: light
brooking & monamy: storms      brooking & monamy: various
monamy & brooking & van de velde: a squadron beating to windward
monamy & brooking & ireland?
monamy moonlight oils
a century of moonlight
monamy website index



© Charles Harrison Wallace 2010, 2016
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