A Woman to Know: Rosa Bonheur
|Julia Carpenter||Jan 20, 2016|
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.
Add to your reading list:
Rosa Bonheur: The Artist's (Auto)Biography (Anna Klumpke)
Reminisces of Rosa Bonheur (Theodore Stanton)
The Rise and Fall of Rosa Bonheur (The New York Times)
20 Paintings by Rosa Bonheur (BBC Paintings)
Rosa Bonheur (The National Museum of Wildlife Art)
The Work of Rosa Bonheur (The National Museum of Women in the Arts)
Plowing in the Nivernais (SmartHistory)
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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