Artist Rosa Bonheur

"Along with Landseer, Rosa Bonheur was the most famous animal painter of the 19th century. She was born on 22nd March 1822 in Bordeaux, France and had an extraordinary talent for drawing animals from an early age. Taught initially by her father and then by Coignet, she went on to make her first studies in the Bois de Boulogne. Later, having received formal police permission, Bonheur dressed in men's clothing to visit and make studies at abattoirs and cattle markets. Bonheur made her debut at the Salon in 1841 and, at the age of twenty six, she received her first award. By this time her talent had completely matured. A later exhibit in the Salon of 1853, entitled Le Marche aux Chevaux, placed her amongst the top painters of the time. Her achievement was recognised when she was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1865 and she went on to become its first woman officer in 1894. Towards the end of her career, she changed her pallette completely to bring to her works the powerful colour of impressionism. Examples of her work are found today all over the world, but particularly in a museum named in her honour at Fontainebleu (La Musee Bonheur)."

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