Trafalgar: J.M.W.Turner, 1822


57½ x 65. Signed l.r. Sotheby 6/11/2007. Monamy: c 1732 ?

The need to expand on previous pages suggesting a relationship between Monamy and Turner arises following a very reasonable question courteously put to me a short while ago, as to whether there is any firm evidence that Turner was actually aware of Monamy's paintings.

There is, so far as I'm aware, no documentary evidence whatsoever that Turner even acknowledged the existence of Monamy. No scrap of paper, no quoted remark. No-one has ever suggested the possibility of any link of any kind.

At the same time, it is quite impossible for Turner not to have been fully conversant with Monamy's prior existence, and he must have looked at his paintings. When Turner was a child, Monamy was "the famous marine painter", whom everyone, including Smollet, Antiquity Smith and Ephraim Hardcastle, would have recognized, and who was still able to be recalled in 1895 as "the finest painter of shipping in England". Prints after his "sea-pieces" could be had for a few pence all over the country, and were pinned up inside sailors' sea-chests in every port. Anyone who had ever been to Vauxhall Gardens would have seen his works.

P-J de Loutherbourg: Battle of the Glorious First of June, 1794 painted 1795




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