the van de velde studio from 1674 --- to 1690?
see also here

Note: May 2008

Many of the puzzles, surmises and conundrums in this and linked pages have been researched
in greater depth, and in some cases resolved during the last 4 months.
However, it will be some time before they appear here, so conjectures are to be treated with caution.

The Younger
six children: or four ?

Van de Velde

who worked in it?


The Elder
A brother, Cornelius ?

Delving further into Michael Robinson's introduction to Van de Velde Drawings, p.12, it can be noted that "On 6/16 July (1674), the Elder was back in Holland and Blaeu tells how he met him by chance in the streets of Amsterdam. Van de Velde had come back for only a few days to fetch his wife (with whom he must have been reconciled) as he had received such favours from Charles II and the Duke of York that he intended to take up his residence in England. He mentioned being given the use of a large house, which might be the Queen's House in Greenwich, as payments in March 1675 show that the place was by then their recognized studio. They appear to have lived nearby in East Lane (now Eastney Street, Greenwich) until 1691 when they moved to a house in Sackville Street, Westminster." The van de Veldes' salaries were paid by the Treasurer of the Navy, but there is apparently no documentary record of a salary paid to the alleged but most probably imaginary Elder Cornelius. Vertue says that "this Cornelius Vande Velde. had also a pension from the Crown. till he died."

Robinson adds "From 1710 to 1712 Cornelis Van de Velde lived in Millbank, Westminster, a few doors from John Burgess, who took over the house which his father-in-law, Willem Van de Velde the Younger, occupied from 1706 until his death in 1707." Another van de Velde mentioned by Robinson, p.27, is Adriaan the Younger, baptized in 1670, seemingly a nephew of the Younger William, and grandson of the Elder, of whom Robinson says "presumably it was he to whom the Elder referred when he told Blaeu in 1674 that he was taking the child of his dead son to England". The doubt as to which of the two possible Cornelii was living in Millbank remains, but we can add Adriaan the Younger to the corporate team, as well as the Mrs William van de Veldes senior and junior who could have had hands in the secretarial and administrative work. The household chores would have been done by servants. Let us not forget Simon Du Bois, who also seems to have wielded a pencil in the studio before the Younger died. Not quite an army of assistants, but a total administrative and productive sometime platoon of fourteen, or more. Perhaps the case has been over-stated. I dare say. The point is that there would not be the slightest need for Sailmaker or Knyff, let alone Monamy, a callow Londoner who spoke no Dutch, to be recruited as background paint-mixer, easel-shifter, copyist or layman gopher. They wouldn't have taken the job, in any case.

Remmelt Daalder, Van de Velde & Zoon, 2013, p 208, agrees:

Detail from McDonald "Monamy".

It is a hundred to one on that the detail above is not by the hand of Monamy. The signature reported by Cockett in his 2002 flyer certainly was not there in 1970. This painting, and the one immediately below it, also unsigned, caused Michael Robinson interminable head-scratching when we were discussing their authorship in the early 1980s. Because, inter alia, it depicts a ship stern which post-dates the Younger van de Velde's death, it could not be by the Master. Robinson at that time assumed that Monamy was a close "follower" of van de Velde, and almost automatically took it that any "quality" painting of this type would be by him. But, in my view, he ignored the remainder of the van de Velde clan, which between 1707 and 1714 still consisted of the third generation: Adriaan (?), Willem (if still alive --- he may have died in about 1705), Cornelius, Pieter, and three unnamed daughters --- seven possibilities, not counting a possible Elder Cornelius. Michael also had an erroneous concept of Monamy's painting style and brushwork.

The McDonald "Monamy".

Detail from painting on previous page.

van de Velde: amazingly tall masts.

These paintings were produced by a delicate, sensitive and practised hand. But the sensitivity is of a different order from the sensitivity and agitation noticed by Marcel Brion, when commenting on Monamy. It is not the rather coarse hand belonging with those paintings signed by Cornelius with his "crabbed little signature". It might be the hand of the "son", who went to Holland and died there; but both Vertue and Walpole say that this son, though he copied his father's works, "came to no great perfection". Besides, these paintings are not copies.

Who, then, is the painter referred to by Weyerman in 1729, who "is now quite the best painter we could name. He has practically the same style as his very artistic father, painting the briny sea of Nereus with the light shining through crystal clear. His ships, his skies and shores and rocks are beautifully and broadly painted. We say again, undoubtedly the best marine painter to come forward in our lifetime" ---- and why didn't he sign his paintings? Could it be because "he" was the unnamed daughter mentioned by Hofstede de Groot, and that Weyerman was actually and unwittingly looking at a woman's handiwork?

The inset details, above and below, are from different sections of the McDonald "Monamy". In my view, all four paintings shown here are by the same academic hand, which is not the hand of van de Velde the Younger. Nor the hand of Peter Monamy.

48 x 59, unsigned; in 1931 arbitrarily entitled British Frigate Firing a Broadside and
attributed to van de Velde the Younger; but now attributed to Monamy

studio sterns

the van de velde studio 1       the van de velde studio 2
the van de velde studio 3
monamy & british art history
van de velde 1       van de velde 2
cornelius van de velde
vertue & walpole
monamy website index

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