The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
On the Coast of Picardy
  • Richard Parkes Bonington (1802 - 1828)
  • On the Coast of Picardy
  • c. 1826
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 36.8 x 50.7 cm
    Object size: 35.5 x 67.5 x 9.5 cm
  • P341
  • West Gallery II
Further Reading
  • Bonington was trained as a painter in watercolour, but around late 1823 he also took up oil painting. His instinctive talent is demonstrated by this wonderfully accomplished scene on the coast of northern France, painted within only three years after he took up the medium. Based on a drawing made during one of his sketching trips, it beautifully suggests a fresh and cloudy morning by a sea that is subject to storms – note the fallen crow’s nest in the foreground. The title derives from a reproductive engraving of 1829 by James Duffield Harding after the painting, but the site is actually looking towards La Pointe de la Hève, Sainte-Adresse, opposite Le Havre on the coast of Normandy. Forty years later the area would also be painted several times by Monet (see, for example, 'La Pointe de la Hève, Sainte-Adresse', 1864 (London, National Gallery). The composition (deriving ultimately from seventeenth-century Dutch painting) recalls similar scenes by contemporary British artists such as Turner, William Collins and Augustus Wall Callcott.