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Rosa Bonheur French  1822 - 1899
Landscape with Cattle Grazing
Oil on Canvas
33 x 53 inches, sight
Category: Paintings - Non-American
Origin: France
Era: 19th Century
AFA Issue or
Dealer Reference#:
Summer 2005
Rosa Bonheur (French, 1822-1899), Landscape with Cattle Grazing; Oil on canvas, 33 x 53 inches; Signed lower right.

Exhibited: Artists Who Love Nature, International Exposition, Osaka, Japan, 1990.

Acclaimed by critics and collected by royalty, Rosa Bonheur overcame entrenched prejudice to become the nineteenth century's most beloved animal painter and the first woman ever to be admitted to France's Legion of Honor. Bonheur first studied with her father, Raymond, before furthering her studies with Cogniet. In her formative years, she would visit the Parisian abbatoirs, undertaking exhaustive research to develop her understanding of animal musculature. She made her debut at the Salon of 1841 with two paintings in which her native talent and her thorough grounding in anatomy were immediately apparent. By 1853 she was, as Benezit observed, '...in the first rank of the painters of her time', a judgement that posterity has fully confirmed. In 1865, she was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honor for her services to art. The French Emperor, Napoleon III, refused to attend her investiture and Bonheur received the decoration from Empress Eugenie who embraced her and declared, 'Now genius has no gender'. in the course of a long and remarkable career, Bonheur was the recipient of many prizes and awards. A personal favorite of Queen Victoria, who collected her work, she was also granted many honors and decorations by the royal houses of Europe. This unusually large example of the artist's work was painted circa 1875 and shows her at the height of her formidable powers. The painting is in excellent condition and retains its decorative gilt gesso frame.

Ref: Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Vol.II, p.520; Kunstlexicon, Thieme-Becker, Vol. IV, p.288; Mallett's Index of Artists, p.44; Davenport's Art Reference Guide, 2003/4 Edition, p.310; et al.

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