Trained originally in house decoration, Peter Monamy was probably largely self-taught as a marine painter. His style closely followed that of Willem van de Velde the younger. Monamy was working after the van de Velde family and other Dutch painters, who had come to work in England, had heightened interest in shipping pictures and created a growing market for them. He emerged with Samuel Scott as one of the two leading figures in the first generation of British marine painters, although his range of work is uneven in quality. He worked industriously for at least 40 years and left a wealth of paintings illustrating the nation's naval history and recording a wide range of ships of the first half of the 18th century.
Sold through Sotheby's, London, ‘Old Master Paintings’ sale, on 21 March 1956 (Lot 120), as ‘Men-o’-War and other small craft off the coast in a calm’; from which sale purchased by Richard Walker on behalf of the Ministry of Works
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