View near Mantes, 1826, Richard Parkes Bonington (English, 1802–1828), oil on canvas
Bonington can be considered a French as well as English artist. Although he was born and died in England, he trained in France. Rarely found in American museums, his paintings are esteemed for their soft brushstrokes, moist atmospheres, and muted colors. Small figures lead into this peaceful river scene set against a low horizon. The towers in the background may be those of the church of Notre Dame in Mantes-La-Jolie, a small city on the Seine between Rouen and Paris. This painting reflects early 19th-century nostalgia for the monuments of the medieval world and a taste for hushed rural scenery.