The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Lady and Cavalier
  • Richard Parkes Bonington (1802 - 1828)
  • Lady and Cavalier
  • France
  • 1826
  • Painting
  • Pencil, watercolour and bodycolour with gum varnish on paper
  • Image size: 13.4 x 10 cm
  • Signature: 'RPB. 1826'
  • P732
  • Not on display
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • The figures, inspired by the portraits of Van Dyck (cf. 'Souvenir of Van Dyck', P688), wear costume reminiscent of English dress of c.1640. Through his study of seventeenth-century Dutch painting, Bonington would have known that scenes like these almost invariably have a romantic theme - as clearly indicated here by the red roses on the table next to the couple. He would also have known of similar scenes by more recent French artists who had been influenced by the Dutch such as Boilly and Drölling. However, unlike in the work of his predecessors, where there is usually a moral message or an explicit narrative, here there is neither. The viewer is free to make his or her own assumptions about what is happening in the painting.