Bonington was born near Nottingham, England in 1802. His father was a master draftsman and started teaching him watercolors at the age of 11. In 1817 he and his family moved to Calais, France. Bonninton went to Paris in 1818 where he met Eugene Delacroix and made watercolor copies of landscape paintings at the Louvre.From 1821 to 1822 he studied with Antoine-Jean Gros at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He
exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1822 with sketches of Le Havre and Lillebonne. In 1824 he won the gold medal at the Paris Salon. He traveled throughout France painting seaports and coastal scenes.
Bonington was one of the first artists to paint watercolors plein air instead of in the studio. He had a big influence on the Barbizon painters and, along with Johann Jongkind and Eugene Boudin, he paved the way for the impressionists. Richard Bonington was only 26 years old when he died of tuberculosis. You can read more about Bonington in