Rosa Bonheur: The Most Famous Artist You’ve Never Heard Of …

Édouard Dubufe (French, 1819–1883). Portrait de Marie-Rosalie dite Rosa Bonheur, 1857. Oil on canvas, 51” x 37”, Musée de l’atelier Rosa Bonheur, Thomery, France. (With the permission of Édouard Dubufe, the artist, Bonheur painted in a bull where he had painted a table.)

Rosa Bonheur was perhaps the most famous artist in all of Europe and North America during her lifetime. Required to obtain a cross-dressing permit in order to venture into the world of men — for the sake of her art — she took that world by storm!

Rosa Bonheur, Study of a Dog, possibly 1860s.
Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton NJ
Rosa Bonheur, Col. William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill), 1889. Oil on canvas, 18.5 in x 15.2 in. / Whitney Gallery of Western Art Collection, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody WY
Rosa Bonheur, Two Pet Rabbits, 1841
Rosa Bonheur, Ploughing in the Nivernais (1849).
Oil on canvas, 52” x 100” (133 cm × 260 cm). Musée d’Orsay, Paris
Rosa Bonheur (c 1890) in the garden at Château de By
Rosa Bonheur, The Horse Fair (1852–55). Oil on canvas, 96.25” x 199.5” (244.5 x 506.7 cm) Gift of Cornelius Vanderbilt, 1887. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY. (A smaller version of The Horse Fair, roughly half the size, is in the collection of the National Gallery in London.)
Rosa Bonheur, Clipston St. (1851). Private Collection
Anna Klumpke (American, 1856–1942 ), Portrait of Rosa Bonheur, 1898
Oil on canvas, 46 1/8 x 38 5/8 in.
Gift of the artist, in memory of Rosa Bonheur, 1922
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York NY
Rosa Bonheur’s studio at Château de By

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