(b Arnold, nr Nottingham, 25 Oct 1802; d London, 23 Sept 1828).
English painter. His father, also called Richard (17681835), was a provincial drawing-master and painter, exhibiting at the Royal Academy and the Liverpool Academy between 1797 and 1811. An entrepreneur, he used his experience of the Nottingham lace-manufacturing industry to export machinery illegally to Calais, setting up a business there in late 1817 or early 1818. In Calais the young Richard Parkes Bonington became acquainted with Louis Francia, with whom he consolidated and expanded whatever knowledge of watercolour technique he had brought with him from England. Under Francias direction Bonington left Calais for Paris where, probably not before mid- or late 1818, he met Eugène Delacroix. The latters recollection of Bonington at this time was of a tall adolescent who revealed an astonishing aptitude in his watercolour copies of Flemish landscapes. Once in Paris Bonington embarked on an energetic and successful career, primarily as a watercolourist. In this he was supported by his parents who sometime before 1821 also moved to Paris, providing a business address for him at their lace company premises.
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