Rosa Bonheur : an extraordinary artist
Rosa Bonheur, every young girl should know her!
Rosa Bonheur is a French painter and sculptor, born in 1822 and died in 1899.
From the age of 13, she devoted herself to drawing and painting. In 1839, she began to study animals. At the age of 19, she exhibited at the Paris Salon. She won the gold medal in 1848 with her painting "Bœufs et Taureaux, Race du Cantal".
This was followed by a state commission, Labourage nivernais, which was a great success at the 1849 Salon and is now in the Musée d'Orsay. She then became internationally known and her famous Horse Market of 1853, a large painting (2.44 × 5 m) was bought by an American collector who donated it to the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
What an extraordinary career when you know that women were not accepted at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts...
Indeed, women could not enter the Beaux-Arts until 1897... two years before the artist's death.
To be able to go and paint at cattle fairs or slaughterhouses, Rosa Bonheur had to ask for permission to wear pants, this was called a permission to cross-dress, which had to be renewed every 6 months at the prefecture...
This law of 1800, prohibiting the cross-dressing of women was repealed from French law in 2013!!!
A free and emancipated woman, Rosa Bonheur was the first woman to be promoted to Officer of the Legion of Honor by Empress Eugenie.
I had a lot of admiration and emotion visiting Rosa Bonheur's studio in the Château de By where she lived with Nathalie Micas and Anna Klumpke, an American portraitist.