Oude Brusselse Poort, Mechelen, Belgium
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Originally acquired in 1905 as a Bonington, this watercolour was reattributed to Boys by the great watercolour scholar Paul Oppé in 1939. It dates from the 1830s, the period during which Boys was most strongly under Bonington’s influence in Paris, where the two artists were both working. Boys came to know Bonington well during the last three years of the painter’s life (1825-8); on his return to England in 1837, Boys continued to paint watercolours but remained interested in reproductive work (he had trained in London as an engraver). He is chiefly associated with chromo-lithography (i.e. colour-printed lithography) and his most famous book, ‘London As It Is’, a series of animated London street scenes, was published in 1842.