Richard Parkes Bonington, British (1801-1828) Watercolor on paper "Peasants."
Size: 1 3/4" by 2 1/2" (sight), frame 9 1/8" by 8".
Signed: lower left R.P.B.
Condition: Good to Very Good Antique Condiiton with light toning.
The following was written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.
Richard Bonington was born on October 25, 1801 near Nottingham, England, but in his sixteenth year the family moved to Calais, and thereafter he was only an occasional visitor to England. For this reason the majority of his landscapes have French or Italian subjects.
He studied at the Louvre and Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris; by his training, his work was more in the French than British school. He studied occasionally with Baron des Gros, but with his ardent temperament he had no taste for the Davidian classicism then still in vogue. After a year with Gros he went off on his own to paint along the Channel coast in England and Italy, or along the Norman stretches of the Seine between Rouen and the sea. He visited London from time to time and was considerably influenced by the work of Constable. He shared with Constable the sensational triumph of the Salon of 1824 which started a revolution in French painting.
His last long journey was to Venice, the city of his dreams, where he performed prodigies of work during a brief month in 1826, though it rained almost continuously. This circumstance failed to dampen his spirits or to keep out of his pictures the glitter of the hot reflected light he loved. Consumptive, he died on September 23, 1828 in London, after a sunstroke which caused brain fever.
Delacroix was his great friend and comrade. His was a sad instance of genius cut off in its bloom. Bonington studied Constable faithfully. He painted equally well in oil or water color and did some lithographs. He was a rapid painter, sometimes working directly upon his canvas in the open air, a practice which did not come into general favor until the days of Monet and the French Impressionists.
Sources include: Metropolitan Miniatures: Painting in England Metropolitan Miniatures: English Water Colors
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