Saturday, February 28, 2015

Rosa (Marie-Rosalie) Bonheur (1822 - 1899)

 Rosa (Marie-Rosalie) Bonheur (1822 - 1899)
Untitled, Oil on Canvas (Glued to Board)
Size 14.5 x 9"
SignatureClose Up 1Close Up 2
Rarely during the nineteenth century did the artistic career and recognition of a woman eclipse that of her male counterparts. History recognizes few females from this period in the position of artistic authority, but Rosa Bonheur established herself as the foremost “animalier,” or animal painter, linked with landscape painting and the Realist tradition.

Rosa was a French realist painter and sculptor. Her father was a landscape painter taught by Henri de Saint-Simon. She was the sister of artist Auguste Bonheur and sculptor Isidore Jules Bonheur and the instructor of Anna Elizabeth Klumpke, with whom she later resided.
She was taught to paint by her father, and showed great affinity for animals. She made them her specialty. She was influenced by the English animal painter Sir Edwin Henry Landseer. She also studied animal anatomy and prepared sketches and detailed studies before beginning to work on her paintings and sculptures. 
Rosa was considered the most famous woman artist of her time, and was represented by several private art galleries. She is perhaps most famous today because she was known for wearing men's clothing, and is now seen as an early feminist. She lived for fifty years with her female companion Nathalie Micas at her country estate near Fontainebleau. After Micas' death, she taught and lived with the American painter Anna Elizabeth Klumpke. She died at the age of 77. Many of her paintings, which had not been shown publicly, were sold at auction in Paris in 1900.