Few artists have been blessed with such an instinctive talen for painting as was Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-28). Although not as famous now as his great contemporaries Constable and Turner, he was a more instinctive artist than either, producing some of the most beautiful paintings of the Romantic era when he was little more than twenty years old. He died very young, one month short of his twenty-sixth birthday, but in his short career he enjoyed extraordinary success. Born in England, but living his adult life in France, he established his reputation in both countries at a time when their artistic interests were closely interlinked, leaving behind not only his own exquisite works but an influence on other painters which was to last a generation.
The Wallace Collectio is fortunate to own probably the finest collection in the world of paintings by Bonington - ten oils and twenty five watercolours. They represent most of his major areas of interest, ranging from richly constumed historical scenes to views in France and northern Italy, particularly Venice. This publicationdiscusses each of these works and illustrates all of them in colour for the first time. It also provides a valuable birographical introduction with illustrations of related paintings and drawings by Bonington and his contemporaries. It will appeal not only to those who enjoy of this delightful artist but to anyone interested in English painting in one of its greatest eras.