Text from A History of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, by Alicia St.Leger, 2005

The sale information accompanying this signed painting, 11th Feb 2004, provided by Joseph Woodward & Sons, Cork, relates of William van der Hagen that, probably born in The Hague, after extensive travel in Europe and North Africa he settled in England. He painted in Northamptonshire and Yorkshire, and is then described as "lately arrived from London" in Harding's Impartial Newsletter (Dublin) of 1722. He painted sets for the Theatre Royal, as well as a very wide variety of other decorative work, including trompe l'oeil, and "prospects" which were worked up into tapestries for the House of Lords in Ireland. Anthony Pasquin in 1795 described him as "painter of landscape and shipping in Dublin and other towns in Ireland .... He was a most remarkable genius". It is also commented that "Cork must have been a congenial town for van der Hagen to visit and find patronage as it housed a sizeable Dutch population as a result of close mercantile links between the port and the city of Amsterdam." The precise relationship between Johann and William van der Hagen, if any, does not appear to be known.

Left: 250th anniversary commemorative stamp
other yachts

Royal Cork Yacht Club

The 'Water Club of the Harbour of Cork' was the early name of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. "The artist Peter Monamy, who enjoyed a considerable vogue as a landscape and marine painter in the early part of the eighteenth century, painted several pictures of the Water Club fleet from which we can get a very good idea of the craft favoured by these pioneer yachtsmen. They were without exception cutters, solidly built, bluff-bowed and almost exactly similar to the type of craft used by pilots and revenue officers, not to mention smugglers." Peter Heaton, Yachting: A History, 1955 p.59. By "several", Heaton means "two".

For the exceptional images below I am immeasurably indebted to Mr Dermot Burns, archivist of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, by whose courteous permission they are included on this website. Any errors perpetrated in the course of the speculations presented on this site are mine alone: for all accurate facts and corrections of my mistakes I am grateful to those who prefer truth to fancy.

RCYC yacht portrait. 27 x 35½. Signed P.Monamy

RCYC Club Day. 25½ x 22. Signed P.Monamy

club day picture details

"On July 1st, 1806, Wm. H. Newenham, Thomas Newenham, William Hodder, Cooper Penrose, James Penrose, The Marquis of Thomond and other gentlemen decided to revive the old Cork yacht club, which had been originally founded on Haulbowline Island in 1724. Some memorabilia of the original club survived in collections in Cork, including a painting of the original Haulbowline club, which was purchased from the Marquis of Thomond by Col. Longfield, and which was at Castlemary, Cloyne, at the end of the nineteenth century. [R. Day Old Cork Yacht Club, JCHAS, Vol. III, 1894, p. 125]. Also in the Marquis of Thomond's collection were two eighteenth-century paintings by Peter Monamy, of yachts in Cork harbour. These paintings are now on display in the Crawford Gallery, on loan from the Royal Cork Yacht Club." [Crawford Gallery: see here.]

Dutch ? Flemish ? ----- same difference. Gentlemen connoisseurs cannot abide English painters.

November 2006. The above plaque, which refers first to the fleet of the Water Club in sailing order, has now categorically put me right on the point of who owned the two paintings by Monamy, and the date of their presentation. It was James O'Brien, the 3rd Marquis, or Marquess, of Thomond, Admiral of the Blue, who presented them, in 1849. The paintings are now back in the Yacht Club, which was founded in 1720, not 1724. With many thanks to the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Family tree from These my Friends & Forebears, by Grania O'Brien, 1991

The reference in the plaque specifies the date 1738, which instances primarily the "Club Day" painting. In my view this may have significance, as there is every reason to believe that there is an earlier version of the yacht portrait, to which the date of 1722 is attached. The statement "gentlemens yachts belonging to the Water Club of Corke Harbour" is, in my opinion, inaccurate, as the painting is a portrait of a single yacht, shown in starboard and bow views, as is traditional in ship portraiture.

The two prints above, hand coloured, were published in 1898. They are inscribed "YACHTS OF THE CORK WATER CLUB. (From a painting by Peter Monamy [1749]); and FLEET OF WATER CLUB IN CORK HARBOUR - MANOEUVRING (From a painting in the possession of the Cork Yacht Club)". A print of the yacht portrait was also produced on the 250th anniversary of the club's original foundation, in 1970. The stamp at the top of this page was also issued in this connection. When Turner came to paint a similar scene, 90 years after Monamy, the yachts were definitely racing --- which involves manoeuvering, one might say.

turner 1827 ----- monamy 1738, or more probably 1722

Yachts by Swaine, on wood panel. Can this scene be identified by the buildings?

Slightly reminiscent of the lower painting, attributed to Adriaen van Stalbemt, 1580-1662, painted about 130 years before the Swaine.

Said to show Greenwich Palace from the north-east.

But only very slightly reminiscent.

Though born in this kingdom, he had travelled long enough to fall in love
with everything foreign, and despise everything belonging to his own country,
except himself.

Arts & Crafts in Georgian Ireland

Fresh Breezes: Introduction

Fresh Breezes: Small Ships
one: the smaalschip/kaag   two: small ships   three: small ships and yachts
more on yachts
an english yacht head-reaching
for yacht calms see also here and here

Fresh Breezes: Large Ships
wind right to left     wind left to right

calms, calms, calms
monamy website index

© Charles Harrison-Wallace 2006, 2013
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