Rare Bonington landscape on display at National Gallery

View on River Seine – Morning by 19th-century British artist acquired for nation

Richard Parkes Bonington was a contemporary of Constable and Turner, but his death at the age of 25 from tuberculosis excluded him from the casual art lovers’ radar.

Now, visitors to the National Gallery in London can see a rare landscape by the influential 19th-century artist after it acquired a second work for its collection.

The hazy morning view of the River Seine, painted by Bonington in about 1825, has been acquired for the nation under the acceptance in lieu scheme. The initiative allows people to offset inheritance tax bills by offering works of art. In this case it settled £643,365 of tax.

Gabriele Finaldi, the director of the National Gallery, expressed his gratitude to the government scheme, which is administered by Arts Council England. “Bonington is an important and rare artist. This evocative and atmospheric view of the River Seine is a superb example of his work,” he said.

Bonington was born in Nottingham but spent much of his short life in France, studying in Calais before moving to Paris. He became friends with artists such as Eugène Delacroix , who admired the Englishman’s “easy brush and coquettish touch”.

The National Gallery said Bonington, who spent much of his time on sketching northern France, was vital to our understanding of French and British art of the Romantic period.

It pointed to the synergies with important paintings in the national collection, including Constable’s The Hay Wain (1821), which won a gold medal at the 1824 Paris Salon. Bonington was also a gold medal recipient that year.

Edward Harley, the chair of the acceptance in lieu panel, said he was thrilled that the work had been acquired on behalf of the public. “This beautiful, small landscape painting, executed in the brief period of Bonington’s artistic maturity before his death at 25, demonstrates his mastery at evoking the subtle transition from foreground to distance through light and atmosphere.”

View on the River Seine – Morning is on display in gallery F alongside landscape oil sketches by Corot, Degas and Huet.


Mark Brown Arts correspondent

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
National Gallery buys 'dazzling' Joaquín Sorolla painting
Acquisition by London gallery comes after its 2019 exhibition of Spanish artist’s work

Mark Brown Arts correspondent

09, Jun, 2020 @11:49 AM

Article image
National Gallery buys Orazio Gentileschi masterpiece for £22m
The Finding of Moses – on loan to gallery for nearly 20 years – bought with help of the public

Mark Brown Arts correspondent

18, Dec, 2019 @11:49 AM

Article image
National Gallery unveils Italian painting as 'Christmas gift to the nation'
Work by female Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi will go on ‘grand tour’, says gallery

Mark Brown Arts correspondent

19, Dec, 2018 @3:13 PM

Article image
National Gallery creates its first show designed for mobile phones
People will be able to explore a 16th-century masterpiece by the Dutch painter Jan Gossaert

Mark Brown Arts correspondent

31, Mar, 2021 @12:15 PM

Article image
National Gallery to buy Thomas Lawrence’s ‘Red Boy’ for £9.3m
Sentimental toffee-tin favourite was first painting on a UK postage stamp but has divided opinion since 1825

Mark Brown Arts correspondent

22, Jul, 2021 @2:42 PM

Article image
Monet's London views to go on show in National Gallery exhibition
Show will examine French artist’s relationship with architecture; other upcoming shows focus on Thomas Cole and the Renaissance

Hannah Ellis-Petersen

06, Jun, 2017 @5:34 PM

Article image
Gallery A: the secret museum inside the National Gallery

Once a cluttered, underlit store, Gallery A is now a permanent display of 218 works by artists from Botticelli to Rosa Bonheur

Jonathan Jones

01, Jun, 2014 @5:00 PM

Article image
Turner paintings not seen in UK for 100 years to go on show at National Gallery
Two artworks of waterside scenes in Europe being lent by Frick Collection in New York for Turner on Tour exhibition

Harriet Sherwood Arts and culture correspondent

08, Mar, 2022 @11:58 AM

Article image
National Gallery staff strike shuts down most exhibitions
Art lovers disappointed but many back workers on indefinite strike over fears they will be replaced by security guards ‘who know nothing about paintings’

Damien Gayle

11, Aug, 2015 @12:56 PM

Article image
The Monarch of the Glen to go on display at National Gallery
Painting of stag will be shown alongside Peter Blake version owned by Paul McCartney

Mark Brown Arts correspondent

20, Jun, 2018 @11:52 AM