Richard Parkes Bonington (British, 18021828)
Watercolor over graphite on white wove paper; 5 13/16 x 9 1/16 in. (14.7 x 23 cm)
David T. Schiff Gift, Harry G. Sperling Fund, and Karen B. Cohen Fund, 1996 (1996.277)
The French Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix described the sparkling, jewel-toned watercolors of the British painter with whom he shared a Paris studio as "like diamonds." In this view of Rouen seen from the northeast, broad wet washes suggest the sunlit sky, a dark cathedral soars above the blotted colors of the city's haze, and exquisite touches of a fine brush suggest tiny figures and the masts of distant ships. A version of this view was reproduced in aquatint by Thales Fielding in N.-J. Lefebvre-Duruflé's Excursion sur les côtes et dans les ports de Normandie, published 182325.