The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Earl of Surrey and Fair Geraldine
  • Richard Parkes Bonington (1802 - 1828)
  • The Earl of Surrey and Fair Geraldine
  • France
  • c. 1826
  • Painting
  • Pencil, watercolour and bodycolour with gum varnish on paper
  • Image size: 14 x 11.9 cm
  • Signature: 'RPB'
  • P675
  • Not on display
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • The subject of the love poems of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (1518-47), who is often credited with introducing the sonnet and blank verse into English, was identified in the late sixteenth century as Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald (b. c.1528), daughter of the 9th Earl of Kildare. The figure of Surrey in Bonington's watercolour probably derives from an engraving of a portrait of an unknown man at Hampton Court, engraved in 1815 by Edward Scriven as a portrait of Surrey by Hans Holbein the Younger. Part of the appeal of historical watercolours such as this for Bonington’s contemporaries lay in their novel subjects and their associations with the similar techniques of late medieval manuscript illumination.