was born in 1802 near Nottingham, England. In about 1817, his family
to Calais, France. In 1818, Bonington went to Paris, where he met Eugene
Delacroix and made watercolor copies of Dutch and Flemish
in the Louvre. In 1821-1822, he studied under Antoine-Jean Gros at the
Ecole des Beaux-Arts. His first works, mostly sketches of Le Havre and
Lillebonne, were exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1822. He also began to
work in lithography, illustrating Baron Taylor’s Voyages. In
he won a gold medal at the Paris Salon. He traveled all over France and
especially in Normandy, painting coastal landscapes and seaport scenes
of Picardy (1823-1824),
River Scene with Fishing Boats (1824), A
Boat Beached in a Port at Low Tide (1825); he also went to
England and Scotland, occasionally accompanied by his friend Eugène
Delacroix, in whose studio he later worked. In 1826, Bonington
Venice, where he was deeply impressed by Veronese and Canaletto:
Mark's Column in Venice (c.1826-1828), The
Doge's Palace, Venice (1827), Piazza
San Marco, Venice (1827).
From 1824 he experimented increasingly in romantic subjects taken from history and studied armor. His best-known works on historical subjects followed: Francis I and Marguerite of Navarre, Henri III and the English Ambassador (1827-1828), Venice. The Grand Canal (1827).
Bonington, like John
was one of the English artists whose landscapes were highly regarded in
France. He was among the first artists in France to paint watercolors
rather than in studio. His approach to nature as well as his technique
stimulated the Barbizon painters and – with Eugene Isabey, Eugene
Boudin and Johann Barthold Jongkind as intermediaries – paved the
Bonington died of tuberculosis in London, only 26 years old.
Bibliography:<>R. P. Bonington. by M. Gobin. Paris-New York. 1950.