Bonington, Richard Parkes

Bonington, Richard Parkes

(bŏn`ĭngtən), 1802–28, English painter. Moving to Calais at the age of 15, his first art study was with Louis Francia, who taught him watercolor and lithography. Bonington studied in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts and in 1820 entered the studio of Gros. At that time he formed a close friendship with Delacroix, with whom he traveled to England. He won early recognition from the Salon, but died of tuberculosis at a young age. Best known for his sparkling watercolors painted rapidly, directly from nature, Bonington also brought to his oil painting an immediacy and dexterity unusual in his day. Bonington was the embodiment of the close link between the English landscape painters Constable and Turner and the budding school of French landscape painters. He was a masterly lithographer as well. Represented in the Louvre and in most important British galleries, Bonington's work is best seen in the Wallace Collection, London.


See study by R. P. Dubuisson (tr. 1924).

Bonington, Richard Parkes


Born Oct. 25, 1801 or 1802, near Nottingham; died Sept. 23, 1828, in London. English painter and graphic artist.

Bonington studied in France under A. Gros and was associated with E. Delacroix and other French romanticists. In 1826 he visited Italy. Bonington’s subtle lyrical landscapes (Boats by the Shore; Hermitage, Leningrad) by their intimate quality and pleinairist searchings blazed trails for 19th-century European landscape painting, including the Barbizon School. Bonington’s small paintings in the historical genre (Henry IV and the Spanish Ambassador; Wallace Collection, London) are romantic and are executed with great artistic freedom. Bonington was a great master of landscape watercolor painting and lithography.


Gobin, M. R. P. Bonington, Paris-New York, 1950.