VAUXHALL GARDENS

More Miscellanea


The Triumph of Britannia
Painted by Hayman for display in the Great Room at Vauxhall Gardens
engraving by Ravenet of lost original

This work was completed for Vauxhall for display in the Saloon, the extension to the Music Room shown above, by about mid-May 1762, in the wake of the Year of Victories, 1759. The tide of the struggle for global dominion had turned Britain's way. The picture is discussed in History Today, June 1995, in an article by Brian Allen entitled Rule Britannia? History Painting in 18th Century Britain. Seven Admirals are said to be portrayed: Hawke, Pocock, Boscawen, Anson, Saunders, Keppel and Howe. The chap on the far left edge appears to be slightly ill-favoured. Britannia holds a profile of George III.


Could Hayman have been familiar with a unique painting by Bakhuizen?
Perhaps not: see Margarita Russell, Images of Reality, Images of Arcadia, 1989.

Allen remarks that although the Vauxhall supper-box paintings "were mostly frivolous in their subject-matter, several, in particular those by the marine painter, Peter Monamy, depicted episodes from the current conflict with Spain, the so-called War of Jenkins' Ear." As the other pages on Vauxhall on this site demonstrate, The Taking of Porto Bello was virtually the only such episode depicted. The Capture of the San Joseph seems, in retrospect, to be little more than an act of piracy; and it might be worth investigating just why this incident was thought important enough to record in this manner. Perhaps because it took place so early on in the hostilities, and perhaps also because it was seen as a satisfying form of retribution for the the loss of Captain Jenkins' ear. It certainly appears to have been rather promptly forgotten.


Francis Hayman RA: Self-Portrait

another look at the picture display
vauxhall gardens one     vauxhall gardens two     vauxhall gardens three
artistic range 1         artistic range 4
vauxhall fun & games
website index


A vignette, enlarged: actual size 2½ x 4: circa 1810? Early evening in the life of the Gardens.


Another early evening in the life of the Gardens.
London Pub. Oct 1st 1809, at R. Ackermann's Repository of Arts 101 Strand
Rowlandson & Regin delt. et sculpt.           J.Bluck aquat.

more bright lights here

Sonnet to Vauxhall

The cold transparent ham is on my fork ---
It hardly rains --- and hark the bell! --- ding-dingle ---
Away. Three thousand feet at gravel work.
Mocking a Vauxhall shower! --- Married and Single
Crush --- rush --- Soaked Silks with wet white Satin mingle.
Hengler! Madame! round whom all bright sparks lurk,
Calls audibly on Mr and Mrs Pringle
To study the Sublime, &c --- (vide Burke)
All noses are upturned! Whish --- ish! --- On high
The rocket rushes --- trails --- just steals in sight ---
Then droops and melts in bubbles of blue light ---
And Darkness reigns --- Then balls flare up and die ---
Wheels whiz --- smack crackers --- serpents twist --- and then
Back to the cold transparent ham again.

Thomas Hood: 1799-1845

© Charles Harrison Wallace 2005, 2007
all rights reserved

top