On March 16, 1822, Rosa Bonheur was born. Since then, she has etched her name in history with her paintings and sculptures. Known for his representations ofanimals, Rosa Bonheur began to draw from her earliest years. Encouraged by her family, it was her father who pushed her to pursue her passion. He himself was a painter of portraits and landscapes, as well as a friend of the Spanish painter Francisco Goya.
If the name of Rosa Bonheur sometimes remains unknown today. She was nevertheless one of the major artists of her century. This is the realism of his paintings of animals which is then particularly acclaimed. His large fresco titled The Horse Market was unanimous. Marked by critical differences between romantics and classics, it is now on display at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
Beyond her artistic talent, Rosa Bonheur was also a powerful woman and a pioneer of feminism. Her independence will pave the way for many women in the world of painting and sculpture. Rosa Bonheur was also the first woman to obtain the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor. To give him her distinction, Empress Eugenie had made the trip to By, in the castle of Rosa Bonheur, in Seine-et-Marne.
Google’s tribute to Rosa Bonheur, March 16, 2022.
The Château de By is open to the public
The artist lived forty years at the Château de By in Seine-et-Marne, where she settled with Nathalie Micas, her childhood friend and her mother. According to the writer Marie Borin, Rosa Bonheur had been “adopted” by the Micas family, who took care of her after the death of her mother. It is therefore natural that she settles down with the mother and the daughter, the father having died some time earlier.
The castle can today be visited, and a retrospective is exceptionally organized. The Bordeaux Museum of Fine Arts is also organizing the first retrospective dedicated to Rosa Bonheur in a quarter of a century from May 18 to September 18, before this exhibition stops at the Musée d’Orsay from October 17, 2022 to January 15, 2023.