Bonington was born in 1802 near Nottingham, England. In about 1817, his family moved to Calais, France. In 1818, Bonington went to Paris, where he met Eugene Delacroix and made watercolor copies of Dutch and Flemish landscapes 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 1824, he won a gold medal at the Paris Salon. He traveled all over France and especially in Normandy, painting coastal landscapes and seaport scenes Coast of Picardy (1823-1824), French 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 visited Venice, where he was deeply impressed by Veronese and Canaletto: St. 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).
1823. Oil on canvas. City Museum and Art Gallery, Nottingham, UK.
1823-1824. Oil on canvas. Wallace Collection, London, UK.
c.1824. Watercolour on paper. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, USA.
1824. Watercolour on paper. Thomas Agnew & Sons Ltd., UK.
1824-1825. Oil on canvas. Thomas Agnew & Sons Ltd., UK.
1825. Watercolour on paper. The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, UK.
c.1825. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.
1825. Oil on canvas. The Covent Garden Gallery, UK.
1825. Watercolour on paper. Szepmuveseti Muzeum, Budapest, Hungary.
1826. Watercolour on paper. Thomas Agnew & Sons Ltd., UK.
1826. Watercolour on paper. Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK.
1826. Oil on canvas. Tate Gallery, London, UK.
1826. Oil on canvas. Private collection.
1826. Oil on canvas. The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.
1826. Oil on canvas. Louvre, Paris, France.
c.1826-1827. Oil on canvas. Tate Gallery, London, UK.
c.1826-1828. Oil on canvas. Tate Gallery, London, UK.
1827. Oil on canvas. The National Trust, Anglesey Abbey, Cambridge, UK.
1827. Oil on canvas. Wallace Collection, London, UK.
1827. Watercolour on paper. Wallace Collection, London, UK.
R. P. Bonington. by M. Gobin. Paris-New York. 1950.
Painting of Europe. XIII-XX centuries. Encyclopedic Dictionary. Moscow. Iskusstvo. 1999.
Bonington. by Malcolm Cormack Cambridge University Press. 1989.
Richard Parks Bonington by Stephen Duffy. Wallace Collection, 2004.
Richard Parkes Bonington by Carlos Peacock. Barrie Jenkins.
Richard Parkes Bonington:'On the Pleasures of Painting' by Patrick Noon. Yale Univ Pr, 1991.