The Wallace Collection

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Bologna: The Leaning Towers
  • Richard Parkes Bonington (1802 - 1828)
  • Bologna: The Leaning Towers
  • France
  • c. 1826 - 1827
  • Painting
  • Watercolour and bodycolour with gum varnish on paper
  • Image size: 23.4 x 16.9 cm
  • P701
  • Not on display
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • This watercolour was probably painted in 1826, and based on one or more studies made in Bologna in May the same year. The view is from the Via Rizzoli and shows on the left the Torre Garisenda (its tilt much exaggerated), and in the centre the Torre Asinelli. Built in the early twelfth century, they are two of the 180 towers that Bologna once counted within its boundaries. The Torre Garisenda was shortened in the 1350s for safety reasons after it had already begun to lean because of soil subsidence. Bologna, visited by Bonington and Rivet between 19 and 24 May 1826, was seldom painted by artists from northern Europe. As with most artists of his time, Bonington projects a positive attitude to city llife, expressed through open skies, purposeful activity and absence of squalor.