Rosa Bonheur, great animal painter, celebrates her 200th birthday! – The Best Paris

Rosa Bonheur, great animal painter, celebrates her 200th birthday!  – The Best Paris

On Wednesday March 16, 2022, we celebrated the bicentenary by Rosa Happiness! This painter specializing in illustration animals, promoted to Officer of the Legion of Honor, can also be a pioneer of feminism. She is likely one of the uncommon ladies of her time to have recognized a global superstar throughout her lifetime, earlier than falling into oblivion. Meet this genius of sensible portray.

Artwork or nothing!

2 hundred years in the past, in 1822, the little Rosalie Happiness. Within the first years of his life, this household title sadly didn’t deliver him luck… Having simply arrived in Paris, his father, Raymond Happiness, abandons his spouse and kids to hitch the convent of Saint-Simoniens. The household sinks into poverty. Exhausted, Sophie Bonheur died two years later when Rosa was solely 11 years outdated. This trauma makes her want by no means to need by no means rely upon a person.
Her father tries to put her in boarding college and in a stitching workshop, from which she instantly escapes. Rosa Bonheur is already inhabited by two passions: drawing and portray. Raymond Bonheur is an artist himself and finally ends up agreeing to take his daughter with him to his studio. The younger girl spends her time copying the good masters on the Louvre or to grasp the anatomy at museum of pure historical past.

Probably the most well-known artist of the nineteenth century

Rosa Bonheur exhibits dedication and of an emancipation uncommon for its time. Conscious that society needs married ladies to dedicate themselves to their husbands and their youngsters, she prefers surrender beginning a household fairly than abandon his artwork. It’s a robust alternative within the nineteenth century! Proving that girls could be as profitable as males is her lifelong wrestle. Some sources counsel that Rosa Bonheur was gay… nonetheless, we’ve no proof of this.

Oxen and Bulls, Breed of Cantal by Rosa Bonheur (Salon of 1848)

The younger artist then devoted herself absolutely to portray and her work was exhibited for the primary time when she was 19 years outdated. His work concentrate on residing issues and animals that she likes: the horses, the cows that they observe on the cattle markets, the canine, the sheep… Their realism doesn’t fail to fascinate those that observe them! “Specialists mentioned she defied daguerreotypes, that’s, her drawings had been so near actuality that as we speak they’re used to hint the traits of extinct species” defined Marie Borin, writer of a biography on Rosa Bonheur to our colleagues from FranceCulture.

In 1848, she obtained the primary prize of the present along with his work oxen and Bulls, Cantal breed. Rosa Bonheur is topped with success! The next 12 months she acquired an order from the State, for which she produced the Nivernais plowing, a monumental work now on show on the Musée d’Orsay. In 1853, The horse market is in flip unanimous, earlier than leaving for america. It is the beginning of a Worldwide fame for the painter, whose artwork fascinates our buddies throughout the Atlantic.

The horse market (between 1852 and 1855) by Rosa Bonheur

Wealthy and well-known, Rosa Bonheur managed to discover a place for herself within the artwork world due to his work and his expertise, with out having to rely upon a grasp, a husband or a relative higher recognized than her. Over time, the artist not even must current her work on the Salons, her works are bought even earlier than she has utilized the primary contact of colour!

First feminine officer of the Legion of Honor

In 1859, Rosa Bonheur acquired the fortress of By in Thomery (Seine et Marne). She installs a veritable menagerie there, together with a few lions that she represents many occasions. On this massive home, she cohabits fortunately along with her childhood buddy Nathalie Micas and her mom.

In June 1865, it’s the consecration. She receives the Legion of Honor from the arms of Empress Eugeniegot here in individual to the fortress. “Our civilization is starting to grasp that girls have a soul” wrote L’Opinion Nationale on the time. Twenty years later, she is promoted officer of the Legion of Honor by President Sadi Carnot. It is historic: she is the primary embellished girl artist and the primary girl to acquire this rank of officer!

A reclining lioness and 7 research of her head, nd, pencil drawing• Credit: © RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay) / picture Thierry Le Mage

In 1889, she welcomed to the fortress the younger American artist Anna Klumpke, got here to color her portrait. She died a couple of months later, on Could 25, 1899, after contracting pulmonary congestion. She is buried at Pere Lachaise Cemetery along with her buddy Nathalie Micas.
Anna Klumpke, who inherited his property, tried to attract up a listing of the painter’s work, wrote his biography and created the Rosa Happiness Award. Regardless of his efforts, the life and work of the artist are steadily forgotten, swept away by his contemporaries.


To have fun the bicentenary of this distinctive artist, many museums supply exhibitions to find or rediscover her work.

“On the motif: portray within the open air”, the exhibition of the Custodia Foundation to find till April 3, 2022.
– Retrospective on the Museum of Wonderful Arts in Bordeaux from Could 18 to September 18, 2022.
“Capturing the soul. Rosa Bonheur and animal artwork” to Fontaineblea Castlea from June 3, 2022.
– Varied occasions all year long at Château-Museum Rosa Bonheur in Thomery (Seine et Marne).
– An exhibition from October 17, 2022 on the Musée d’Orsay. Extra data to return.

Entrance web page credit score: Portrait of Rosa Happiness (1898) by Anna Klumpke


Additionally learn: 1790-1900: When Paris found the “girl artist”
Rose Valland, a key determine within the safeguarding of artworks looted through the Occupation

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