The Wallace Collection

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Turk Reposing
  • Richard Parkes Bonington (1802 - 1828)
  • Turk Reposing
  • 1826
  • Painting
  • Pencil, watercolour and bodycolour with gum varnish on paper
  • Image size: 11.3 x 17.7 cm
  • Signature: 'R.P.B. 1826'
  • P750
  • Not on display
Further Reading
  • this watercolour was probably painted shortly before Bonington’s departure for Italy in April 1826. During the winter of 1825-6 he had been sharing a studio with Delacroix who painted several similar studies of Turks. Interest in the Turks had been heightened by the Greek War of Independence (1821-33), particularly after the death at Missolonghi in April 1824 of Lord Byron, whom Delacroix greatly admired. A version in oils of this watercolour, now at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, was included in an exhibition held in May 1826 at the Galerie Lebrun, Paris, to raise French support for the Greeks. Both Delacroix and Bonington emphasised not only the rich colours and sumptuous costumes which were particularly associated with the East in the European mind but the lassitude (perhaps opium induced?) which was also seen as a strange and sometimes beguiling aspect of Oriental life.