Rosa Bonheur Biography, Wiki, Age, Career, Google Doodle | Who was French Artist Rosa Bonheur? Bio, Wiki

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Who was Rosa Bonheur?

Rosa Bonheur (born Marie-Rosalie Bonheur; 16 March 1822 – 25 May 1899), was a French artist, mostly a painter of animals (animalière) but also a sculptor, in a realist style. 

Her paintings include Ploughing in the Nivernais, first exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1848, and now at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, and The Horse Fair (in French: Le marché aux chevaux), which was exhibited at the Salon of 1853 (finished in 1855) and is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City.

Bonheur was widely considered to be the most famous female painter of the nineteenth century.

Google honours French artist Rosa Bonheur with a doodle on 200th birthday

Google honours French artist Rosa Bonheur with a doodle on 200th birthday
Google honours French artist Rosa Bonheur with a doodle on 200th birthday

Celebrating the 200th birth anniversary of Rosa Bonheur, one of the most prominent female painters of the 19th century, Google honored the French artist with a beautiful doodle on its homepage.

Bonheur, whose successful career is said to have inspired a “future generation of women in the arts” is known for her realist style. The celebrated artist, well known as a painter of animals (animalière), was depicted on the search engine’s homepage in a similar way.

Resonating with her style of painting, the doodle showed the artist sitting under a tree, overlooking a green pasture with a flock of sheep. Bonheur was seen painting in a natural setting.

Rosa Bonheur Biography, Wiki

Born on March 16, 1822, in Bordeaux, France – her early artistic education was facilitated by her father, a minor landscape painter. “Although her aspirations for a career in the arts were unconventional for women of the time, Bonheur closely followed the development of artistic traditions through years of careful study and preparing sketches before immortalizing them on canvas,” Google blog post read.

Also a popular sculptor, her works started to gain popularity after they were exhibited at the prestigious Paris Salon from 1841 to 1853.

A French government commission led Bonheur to seal her status as an established professional artist with an iconic painting titled “Ploughing in the Nivernais”, which was exhibited in 1849.

In 1853, Bonheur garnered international acclaim with her painting “The Horse Fair,” a masterpiece known for its amazing depiction of mood seen at a horse market in Paris. As her most well-known work, the painting remains on exhibit at the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

In 1865, French Empress Eugénie even bestowed one of the nation’s most prestigious honours, the Legion of Honor to celebrate her works. It remains special as it was the first time the award was given to a female artist.

Rosa Bonheur biography Wikipedia
Rosa Bonheur
BornMarie-Rosalie Bonheur
16 March 1822
Bordeaux, France
Died25 May 1899 (aged 77)
Thomery, France
NationalityFrench
Known forPainting, sculpture
Notable workPloughing in the NivernaisThe Horse Fair
MovementRealism
Parent(s)Oscar-Raymond Bonheur (father)

Rosa Bonheur Career

Bonheur was trained by her father, Raymond Bonheur, an art teacher and a follower of the social theorist Henri de Saint-Simon. In 1836, three years after her mother’s death, Bonheur met Nathalie Micas, who became a lifelong companion.

By the time Bonheur was in her teens, her talent for sketching live animals had manifested itself, and—rejecting training as a seamstress—she began studying animal motion and forms on farms, in stockyards, and at animal markets, horse fairs, and slaughterhouses, observing and sketching them and gaining an intimate knowledge of animal anatomy.

At the Salon of 1841, she exhibited two paintings, Goats and Sheep and Rabbits Nibbling Carrots (1840).

Her sketching visits to those public places that were largely the domain of men, as well as her work in the studio, prompted her by at least the early 1850s to eschew traditional female clothing for the trousers and loose blouse of a male peasant.

She continued to dress in masculine attire for the rest of her life, though she came to be mocked and disparaged for her garb. Like novelist George Sand, whom Bonheur admired, she obtained police authorization to dress as she did (1852).

Rosa Bonheur Death and Legacy

Rosa Bonheur died in 1899, at the age of 77. She left her estate to Anna Klumpke, her companion and biographer. She is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris alongside Nathalie Micas. Klumpke’s ashes were interred with them when she died in 1945. 

The successes of the artist’s life were great. In addition to becoming an Officer of the Legion of Honor, Bonheur was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Royal Order of Isabella by the king of Spain, as well as the Catholic Cross and the Leopold Cross by the king of Belgium. She was also elected as an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Watercolorists in London. 

Bonheur’s star, however, was overshadowed towards the end of her life when her artistic conservatism was unbending in the face of new art movements in France like impressionism, which began to cast her work in a regressive light. Many thought of Bonheur as too commercial and characterized the artist’s incessant production as that of a factory, from which she churned out uninspired paintings on commission. 

While Bonheur was very famous during her life, her artistic star has since faded. Whether due to diminished taste for 19th-century realism, or her status as a woman (or some combination thereof), Bonheur maintains a place in history more as a pioneering woman to look up to rather than a painter in her own right. 

Rosa Bonheur FAQ’s

Who was Rosa Bonheur?

Rosa Bonheur (born Marie-Rosalie Bonheur; 16 March 1822 – 25 May 1899), was a French artist, mostly a painter of animals (animalière) but also a sculptor, in a realist style. 

When did Rosa Bonheur die?

Rosa Bonheur died in 1899, at the age of 77. She left her estate to Anna Klumpke, her companion and biographer. She is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris alongside Nathalie Micas. Klumpke’s ashes were interred with them when she died in 1945. 

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