This luminous and calm depiction of boats with Nctre Dame de Mantes and the 14th-century Tour St-Maclou in the distance, is a study for the oil painting in the Wallace Collection (see J. Ingamells, Richard Parkes Bonington, Wallace Collection Monographs 3, London, 1979, p. 34, fig. 11).
Bonington had ample opportunity to depict the environs of Mantes during any of his frequent trips to Rivet's nearby Chatau and indeed a number of versions of the view were executed (see also a view of Mantes now in the Taft Museum, Cincinnati, listed in P. Noon, Richard Parkes Bonington 'On the Pleasure of Painting', New Haven, 1991, p. 188, no. 77, illustrated in colour). Ingamalls dates the oil painting, for which this is the study, to circa 1823; however, Patrick Noon believes that both stylistically and thematically it dates from circa 1825.
The present drawing is traditionally thought to have been given as a wedding present by Queen Victoria to her niece Princess Clementine, the daughter of Louis Philippe, on the occasion of her marriage to Prince Albert's nephew, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg Gotha in 1843.
We are grateful to Patrick Noon for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.