Rosa Bonheur

Rosa Bonheur


Nationality: French

Birth Place: Bordeaux (Gironde, Aquitaine, France)

Rosa Bonheur, born March 1822, was a french artist and sculptor. Born into a family of artists, Bonheur is most notably known for two specific works: "Ploughing in the Nivernais", and "The Horse Fair". She is often referred to as the most famous female painter of the nineteenth century.

Bonheur was expelled from school for dressing in a rather boyish way. He hair was unkempt, and she preferred slacks to skirts. Shortly after being expelled, she submitted her very first painting at the age of 19 to the Salon. Bonheur’s reputation steadily climbed throughout the 1840's. She continued to regularly exhibit her paintings of animals and sculptures at the Paris Salon from 1841 to 1853. In 1845, She won a third prize and won a gold medal for her works in 1848.

The following year she submitted her first sculpture. Her great success began when she was offered a French government commission. "Horse Fair," created in 1855, measured eight feet high by sixteen feet wide upon completion. It is on permenant display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City.

Another well-known work by Bonheur is "Study of a Cow," which is on display at the Figge Art Museum. She studied animal anatomy by visiting the abattoirs of Paris and performing dissections of animals at the National Veterinary Institute in Paris.

Although primarily dismissed by the French art world, she was revered in most other parts of Europe. Rosa Bonheur passed away in 1899 at the age of 77.


Rosa Bonheur Original Art Values Sold at Auction

Item Realized
ROSA BONHEUR (French, 1822-1899) The Monarch of the Herd, 1868 Oil on canvas 31-1/4 x 39 inches (79.4 x 99.1 cm)
ROSA BONHEUR (French, 1822-1899)The Monarch of the Herd, 1868Oil on canvas31-1/4 x 39 inches (79.4 x 99.1 cm)...
Lot 63222
Auction 5017
Friday, May 8, 2009
ROSA BONHEUR (French, 1822-1899) Indian on Horseback, circa 1889 Watercolor on paper 10 x 8 inches (25.4 x 20.3 cm)
ROSA BONHEUR (French, 1822-1899)Indian on Horseback, circa 1889Watercolor on paper 10 x 8 inches (25.4 x 20.3 cm) ...
Lot 70010
Auction 5134
Saturday, May 11, 2013
ROSA BONHEUR (French, 1822-1899) Shepherdess and Two Cows in a Meadow, circa 1842-45 Oil on canvas 13 x 18 inches (33
ROSA BONHEUR (French, 1822-1899)Shepherdess and Two Cows in a Meadow, circa 1842-45Oil on canvas13 x 18 inches (33...
Lot 65016
Auction 5030
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Attributed to Rosa Bonheur Flock of Sheep, 1850 Charcoal on paper heightened with white on paper 9 x 14-3/4 inches (2
Attributed to Rosa BonheurFlock of Sheep, 1850Charcoal on paper heightened with white on paper9 x 14-3/4 inches (2...
Lot 66209
Auction 5239
Monday, February 22, 2016
ROSA BONHEUR (French, 1822-1899) Pair of Indian Studies, 1877, 1895 Gouache on parchment Larger: 9 x 5-3/4 inches (22
ROSA BONHEUR (French, 1822-1899)Pair of Indian Studies, 1877, 1895Gouache on parchmentLarger: 9 x 5-3/4 inches (22...
Lot 76178
Auction 5116
Saturday, November 10, 2012

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