The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Child at Prayer
  • Richard Parkes Bonington (1802 - 1828)
  • Child at Prayer
  • France
  • c. 1827
  • Painting
  • Oil on millboard
  • Object size: 35.9 x 27.9 cm, painted area
    Image size: 34.3 x 24.5 cm
    with frame, Object size: 56 x 47.5 x 10 cm
  • P270
  • West Gallery II
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • With his gentle landscapes and richly-coloured but unthreatening scenes from history, the paintings of the short-lived Bonington were entirely compatible with the tastes of the 4th Marquess of Hertford, and he became one of the Marquess’s favourite artists. This scene probably shows Anne of Austria with her young son Louis XIV who became King of France at the age of five. The lily in the vase is an obvious symbol of the French crown. The return of the Bourbon kings after the fall of Napoleon in 1815 provided a contemporary relevance for paintings with subjects of this kind. Bonington may also have been led to paint scenes from seventeenth-century French history by the publication in March 1826 of Alfred de Vigny's novel 'Cinq-Mars' which tells of an unsuccessful aristocratic revolt against Louis XIII's chief minister Cardinal Richelieu (see delaroche, 'Cardinal Richelieu on the Rhône, P320).