Richard Parkes Bonington

Verona, Piazza dell’Erbe circa 1826-7 Richard Parkes Bonington 1802-1828 Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996


Richard Parkes Bonington is another painter I’ve been inspired by, this time mainly for his street and urban scenes. They are full of activity yet when you look closely, the minimal brushwork is direct and unfussy.

Figures are lifelike yet simply suggested. Similarly, shadows cast by the buildings are transparent and convincing. When I first saw his townscapes, what struck me was how a few details like window balconies, decorative architecture, ornate doorways, steps and flags and a few figures could bring a scene to life.