A new exhibition at St. Barbe Museum
focuses on the work of two artists who capitalised on national pride and interest in a growing maritime empire to create the first truly British school of marine painting. Peter Monamy (1681 - 1749) and Charles Brooking (1723 - 1759) created timelessly evocative representation of Britains maritime power that combined atmospheric effect and accurately rendered ships.
Britain produced a whole series of superb marine painters during the 18th century but they have often been overlooked by the art establishment. This exhibition will feature forty paintings featuring many of the most important works by each artist and some of their contemporaries. It will include stunning examples of their work from the collections of the Tate and the National Maritime Museum plus paintings from private collections which are not normally accessible to the public.
Charles Brooking died young but his output during his brief career marks him out as perhaps Britains greatest marine artist with a deftness of touch in representing the maritime landscape and an understanding of sky and cloud patterns to rival Constable. Monamy provides a link with the Dutch style of painting which dominated the 17th century, but he went from humble beginnings as an apprentice sign painter to one of the capitals best-known artists with a host of wealthy patrons.
St. Barbe Museum & Art Gallery is a small charitable museum which has developed a reputation for putting on exhibitions of national importance, working in partnership with scholars and the national museums. This exhibition has been curated by two experts on Monamy and Brooking respectively: Charles Harrison-Wallace and Commander David Joel. The exhibition will be opened by Dr Kevin Fewster, Director of the National Maritime Museum on Thursday 13th August. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.