Richard Parkes Bonington (1802–28) stands as one of England's most important and prolific landscape artists, ranking alongside Turner and Constable as a prime exponent of the English Romantic Movement. His watercolour paintings are considered to be exemplary of the English tradition.
Bonington's reputation for poetic and topographical landscapes – as well as for dash and brilliance – earned him a renown that spanned Europe, but which has mysteriously dimmed with the years. This timely and unique assessment of Bonington will once again establish an appreciation of his work as a peerless artist.
The author has looked closely at Bonington's short yet precocious life: an English upbringing, emigration to France at fifteen, training under Francia and Gros, all factors which allow his work to transcend a purely national school. Although he painted in Venice in 1826, and on two trips to England in 1825 an 1827, many of his principal paintings – much admired by Delacroix and Corot – were done in Normandy and on the French coast. Delacroix was fascinated also by the watercolours of historical subjects that Bonington painted, stating that they 'possessed the lightness of execution which makes his works diamonds by which the eye is enticed and charmed'. This book manifestly confirms such praise.
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Consolidation in Paris
Success at the Paris Salon
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Abbey already Anne of Austria architectural armour Art Gallery Baron Gros boats body colour Bonington's watercolour Boulogne Bowood House British Art British Institution British Museum Calais Castle Museum Center for British Coast Scene Colin composition Constable Constable's copies costume Delacroix England engraving example exhibited figures finished watercolour Fisherfolk foreground France Francia French artists Girtin gum varnish Haven Henri history painting Huet J. M. W. Turner landscape later light lithographs London Lord Charles Townshend Louvre marine Museum and Art National Gallery Normandy Nottingham Oil on canvas Oil on millboard oil sketches painter Paris Paul Huet pencil drawing pose Private Collection R. P. Bonington reproduced river scenes Rivet romantic Rouen Royal Academy Salon Samuel Prout seascapes seen Signed and dated Signed lower right studies style subject pictures Tate Gallery Thomas Shotter Boys topographical Turner Venetian Venice views visited Wallace Collection watercolour watercolourists Yale Center young