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 Richard Parkes Bonington

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Richard Parkes Bonington

  • Birth 25 Oct 1802 Arnold, Nottingham Unitary Authority, Nottinghamshire, England
  • Death 23 Sep 1828 London, City of London, Greater London, England
  • Burial Kensal Green, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, England
  • Plot Square 36.
  • Memorial ID 94139428

Richard Parkes Bonington-He was an English Romantic landscape painter, who moved to France at the age of 14 and can also be considered as a French artist, and an intermediary bringing aspects of English style to France. Becoming after his very early death one of the most influential British artists of his time, the facility of his style was inspired by the old masters, yet was entirely modern in its application. His landscapes were mostly of coastal scenes, with a low horizon and large sky, showing a brilliant handling of light and atmosphere. He also painted small historical cabinet paintings in a freely-handled version of the Troubadour style. Richard Parkes Bonington was born in the town of Arnold, four miles from Nottingham. His father was successively a gaoler, a drawing master and lace-maker, and his mother a teacher. Bonington learned watercolour painting from his father and exhibited paintings at the Liverpool Academy at the age of eleven. In 1817, Bonington's family moved to Calais, France, where his father had set up a lace factory. At this time, Bonington started taking lessons from the painter François Louis Thomas Francia, who – having recently returned from England where he had been deeply influenced by the work of Thomas Girtin – taught him the English watercolour technique. In 1818, the Bonongton family moved to Paris to open a lace retail outlet. There he met and became friends with Eugène Delacroix. He worked for a time producing copies of Dutch and Flemish landscapes in the Louvre. In 1820, he started attending the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he studied under Antoine-Jean, Baron Gros. It was around this time that Bonington started going on sketching tours in the suburbs of Paris and the surrounding countryside. His first paintings were exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1822. He also began to work in oils and lithography, illustrating Baron Taylor's Voyages pittoresques dans l'ancienne France and his own architectural series Restes et Fragmens. In 1824, he won a gold medal at the Paris Salon along with John Constable and Anthony Vandyke Copley Fielding, and spent most of the year painting coastal views in Dunkirk. In 1825 he met Delacroix on a visit with Alexandre-Marie Colin to London, and they sketched together there, and shared a studio for some months in Paris on their return; Delacroix influenced him in turning to historical painting. He also developed a technique mixing watercolour with body colour and gum, achieving an effect close to oil painting. In 1826 he visited northern Italy, staying in Venice for a month, and London again in 1827-8. In late 1828 his tuberculosis worsened and his parents sent him back to London for treatment. Bonington died of tuberculosis on 23 September 1828 at 29 Tottenham Street in London, aged 25.

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Richard Bonington was originally buried in St. James Chruchyard, London, England, In 1837 he was reburied in Kensal Green Cemetery, London, square 36.


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  • Created by: Peterborough "K"
  • Added: 24 Jul 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 94139428
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Richard Parkes Bonington (25 Oct 1802–23 Sep 1828), Find A Grave Memorial no. 94139428, citing Kensal Green Cemetery, Kensal Green, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Peterborough "K" (contributor 46537737) .