Richard Parkes Bonington

Verona, Piazza dell’Erbe


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Richard Parkes Bonington 1802–1828
Watercolour and graphite on paper
Support: 206 × 265 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

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Bonington was trained in France, and indeed spent morst of his short life there. His father had moved the family from Nottingham to Calais to set up a lace-manufacturing business when Bonington was still a teenager. Bonington's fellow artists greatly admired his watercolours for their sureness of touch and sparkling luminosity. Some of the finest of them relate to a tour he made in northern Italy in 1826 with his patron Baron Charles Rivet. This example shows one of Verona's famous squares, enlivened with market stalls. It reveals the impressive range of Bonington's technique: vivacious underdrawing and rich contrasts of colour; fine strokes of the brush for structure and accent (his so-called 'touche coquette'); and broken wash layers of dry colour.

Gallery label, August 2004

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