On the Seine – Morning

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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Two boats are moored along the right bank of the river Seine as it passes through a peaceful landscape edged with slender trees. Ethereal forms in muted greys and greens are set against a luminous sky, the whole bathed in pearly morning light. The more substantial manner in which the boats are painted makes a marked contrast with the ghostly trees, the whole tied together by reflections on the still water. The figure seated in the boat lends the landscape human scale, his red tunic drawing our eye and anchoring our gaze in this light-filled insubstantial scene. This painting, which may be an imaginary composition rather than a study made in the open air, is one of several views of the Seine that Bonington made after returning to France from his 1825 trip to London.

The National Gallery, London



On the Seine – Morning




oil on millboard


H 30.3 x W 35 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the National Gallery, 2019

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The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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