detail: the tackles, ropes & sails &c --- George Vertue


above, left, right: no longer
accepted as monamy

Attributed, circa 1705-07

Monamy has left a considerable record of portraits of specific ships, often composed in the traditional manner, which goes back many decades before his time and persists throughout the 19th and even 20th centuries. These depict the vessel either from a formal port or starboard flank view, with the composition rounded out by one, two, or sometimes three other views of the same ship from different angles. Occasionally the portrait takes on the character of a realistic composition, so that it can seem as if two different ships are being portrayed. The painting heading this page must be regarded as an exact portrait of a specific yacht. Note 2016: It is no longer considered to be by Monamy, or his studio.

The Mortar Bomb, Capt. Steph. Martin, Commander at the Taking of Vigo, Anno 1702

Above is a conventional ship portrait signed S.Martin del, a naval officer who was the brother-in-law and heir of Sir John Leake. Captain Stephen Martin's dates are 1666-1740.

It might be suggested that in his ship portraits Monamy was following a style introduced by the Elder van de Velde. Michael Robinson did in fact make this suggestion. However, the traditional ship portrait goes back a very long time, well before the arrival of the van de Veldes in 1674.

A portrait, signed Monamy, in the Sailmaker vein

Two views of a yacht, said to be the Mary

Three views of a privateer: signed, and now said to be dated 1734. 23½ x 29
Following a Christie's description, it was dated 1704 in the Chichester catalogue:

Because of the canton, it has to be post 1707

Two views of a racing yacht 1738

A two view portrait, the ship-rigged yacht Dublin

Is this by Monamy ?

A two view portrait, said to be of an East Indiaman
for many years said to be by Monamy: now convincingly de-attributed

article 1981
artistic range
monamy website index

The William Miles of Bristol, by Thomas Walters, 1827
From English Naive Painting 1750-1900, by James Ayres, 1980


© Charles Harrison Wallace 2001, 2004, 2016
all rights reserved