John Francis Rigaud, R.A. 1742 - 1810
Portrait of Joseph Bonomi, A.R.A.
Photo: R.A./John Hammond
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Portrait of Joseph Bonomi, A.R.A., 1794
Oil on canvas, 770 X 640 mm
Bequeathed by Joseph Bonomi, 1880
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The architect Joseph Bonomi ARA (1739–1808) was born in Rome and first came to Britain in 1767 to work as a draughtsman in the London office of Robert and James Adam. He left the Adam brothers in 1781 and from about 1787 set up in successful independent practice. As an architect he often worked in close association with Rigaud, who for instance provided decorative paintings for Bonomi’s interiors at Packington Hall, Warwickshire. A brilliant architectural draughtsman and highly original architect, Bonomi was unsuccessfully championed by Reynolds as a candidate for the Professorship of Perspective at the Academy in 1789. Reynolds was so angry with this set-back that he temporarily resigned as President of the Academy in February the following year.

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