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Summary Article: Bonington, Richard Parkes from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English painter who worked in France from 1817. He painted fresh, atmospheric seascapes and landscapes in oil and watercolour. A leading spirit in the formation of the French Romantic School, he was much admired by Eugène Delacroix.

Initially taught watercolour painting by his father, Richard Bonington (1768–1834), he was taken as a boy to France, where he studied art with the watercolourist Louis Francia (1742–1839) in Calais, and in Paris in the studio of Baron Antoine-Jean Gros (1771–1835). He gained wider notice in the Salon of 1824, at which he won a gold medal. He worked mainly in France, though he visited Venice, of which he painted some views in 1826. Beginning with watercolour, he took readily to oils and also executed some brilliant lithographs. His historico-romantic costume pieces are of less note than the landscapes to which his sparkling touch gives atmospheric life.

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