A Woman to Know: Rosa Bonheur

The epithets of imbeciles have never bothered me. - Rosa


Rosa Bonheur did what she wanted, Victorian ideals be damned (*gasp*).

She skipped school to study livestock painting (in the unladylike outdoors! *gasp*), she sneered at marriage (She even said "As far as males go, I only like the bulls I paint!" *gasp*) and she smoked cigarettes (so unbecoming! *gasp*). She crept into Paris abbatoirs at night to study animal bodies for her paintings, and she later obtained special police authorization to dress as a man, so that she could wear loose trousers and blouses as she sketched her subjects in the countryside.

And she got away with it, too — because her paintings were good. Her two most famous pieces, The Horse Fair and Ploughing in the Nivernais, were widely lauded upon debut, and she received a special audience with Queen Victoria to celebrate her work. At the time of her death in 1899, Rosa was considered one of the most famous painters of her century.

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If you like art, ladies and art by ladies, you might also like: Ally White! Ally is an artist and I adore her work. Follow her on Tumblr and Instagram for a beautiful glimpse into her creative process.

*~ Thank you to so many of you for recommending Rosa as a woman to know! Rosa starred in a *very early* issue of this newsletter but, you know, she's been a super popular request and way more of you have subscribed since then so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ~*

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