Illustrated Breath of Rosa Bonheur in Noah’s Ark, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Bordeaux

Illustrated Breath of Rosa Bonheur in Noah's Ark, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Bordeaux

She would have turned 200 on March 16. His century took him to the heights. The next one left it in the dustbin of art history. It’s only been a few years since Rosa Bonheur has been deemed worthy once again: a prodigious painter, one of the rare female artists who have been very successful in the 19th century.I century ; A creature of freedom, who made no secret of being with the women he loved; A pioneer, too, of animal rights.

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Because it was the cows that he essentially painted. Portraits of cows, more precisely: each with its own personality, this gaze that pierces us as if it were that of a colleague. More than an excuse for the bicentenary of his birth, all these factors explain the recent resurgence of interest in the forgotten star of the Second Empire, as evidenced by a retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts in Bordeaux. She will visit the Musée d’Orsay in the fall, which from its opening in 1986, in one of its large corridors, hangs from her masterpiece: nivernis tillage, The public loves him; On the other hand, experts took a long time to really look at it.

Rosa Bonheur probably paid for her status as an official artist, friend of Queen Eugenie, and the other lady who was able to pin the Legion of Honor on her jacket.

Twenty-five years ago, the same Bordeaux museum had already given an exhibition to Rosa Bonheur: it went completely unnoticed. In the list, art historian Bruno Foucart nonetheless declared the necessity To appeal to the “Court-Museum” Rosa Bonheur case, “The star of its time but forgotten, became a textbook case reflecting the taste errors of an era”Recall Sandra Buratti-Hassan and Lesla Jarboui in the list of current exhibitions.

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And to specify: “Rosa Bonheur was afflicted not only by her smooth painting too seriously associated with academia, nor by the fact that she was only a female artist: her progressive elimination from the history of art is also linked to a human-centered tradition and its Animal style in defiance”, She undoubtedly paid for her status as an official artist, friend of Queen Eugenie, and the other lady who was able to pin the Legion of Honor on her jacket. Today, fortunately, the trial is over, and the decision cannot be appealed. thanks to the lawyers of gender studiesOf animal studies And the eclectic feminists who came to the bar, but not only. Verdict: Rosa Bonheur is a great woman, a great painter, who can help us look better today.

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