A drawing by Richard Parkes Bonington acquired by the Fitzwilliam Museum

Richard Parkes
Bonington (1801-1828)
Academies of a Bearded Man and
a Young Boy

Black chalk, heigtened with white -
60.4 x 40 cm
Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum
Photo : Galerie Alexis Bordes

15/4/08 – Acquisition – Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum – The best known works by Richard Parkes Bonington, who died at only 27, are usually watercolors of landscapes or historical scenes.
The drawing acquired by the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge from the Alexis Bordes Gallery (ill.) is thus an unexpected one. The old framing bears the following inscription : Academie dessinée dans l’atelier du Baron Gros et offerte par lui à son condisciple James Robert [1]. The latter, also English and a personal friend of Bonington’s, advised him in 1819 to enter Gros’ workshop where he was studying. Clearly, this sheet can be dated from this year or the following. Starting in 1821, Bonington argued with his master and left the workshop.
The very particular technique, in which the white highlights contrast sharply with the darker tones, recalls some drawings by Louis-Leopold Boilly, also a fellow student in Gros’ workshop.

Version française

Didier Rykner, mardi 15 avril 2008


[1] “Academy drawn in the workshop of Baron Gros and offered by him to his fellow student James Robert”

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