Shown above are Brooking's earliest known paintings: The Burning Ship and Moonlight. The burning ship canvas is signed C.Brooking pinxit aged 17 years. ie circa 1740. Below them are two works hanging on the background wall in the Monamy/Walker conversation piece, datable to circa 1729-1731: The Burning Ship and Moonlight.

Compare the moon's light on water in the pictures on the right. Reasonable to suspect that Brooking saw Monamy's painting, supposing that he started work in the studio in 1736, aged 13. For his first two signed canvases, aged 17, assume he followed the Monamy style. Very soon this rather unrealistic rendering developed into a more naturalistic, or "correct", manner and palette. By 1754 he had become "celebrated".

c1723 - 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



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