On the River Seine, Saint-Cloud

On the River Seine, Saint-Cloud


Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-1828)
On the River Seine, Saint-Cloud

Inscribed lower right: Bonnington and inscribed verso: the River Seine/near St Cloud/Bonnington
Watercolour over pencil
19.3 by 25.3 cm., 7 1/2 by 9 3/4 in.

with Andrew Wyld, his sale, Christie's, 10th July 2012, lot 185, where bought by the present owner

London, W/S Fine Art, summer 2009, no.24

Bonington was born in Nottingham but moved as a fifteen year old to Calais in late 1817 where his father set up a lace business. There he received drawing lessons from the Frenchman F.L.T. Francia who spent most of his working life in England. Not long afterwards the family moved to Paris where he studied under Baron Gros and met Delacroix sketching in the Louvre. The park at St Cloud, surrounding the sixteenth century Royal Palace, was only six miles from the centre of Paris and a popular sketching ground for artists.

We are grateful to Patrick Noon who has dated this work to circa 1823 when the influence of Francia, and through him Thomas Girtin, is still evident. He has pointed out that the paper size of the present work is similar to that used in his
Excursions watercolours of 1823. There are a number of related works from the same period including `The Harbour, Dunkerque' (British Museum, Patrick Noon, Richard Parkes Bonington - the Complete Paintings, 2008, no.74), `Le Crotoy' (Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Noon no.75) and `Near Honfleur' (Yale Center for British Art, Noon no.80).

Bonington was at the centre of the nascent Romantic movement in Paris and his work caused a sensation when it was first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1824. He influenced a generation of French artists and those British artists who visited Paris including his pupil Thomas Shotter Boys, William Callow, James Holland and Charles Bentley amongst others.