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Rosa Bonheur, animalière


Yesterday, I mentioned Rosa Bonheur’s paint box. Perhaps I should say a word about Rosa Bonheur.

She’s been a favorite of mine since I found a little book of her work in a junk shop. She was a 19th C (1822-1899) French painter of animals, or animalière (I love that word and now I own it, FYI). Her father and all three of her brothers painted, but Rosa was a genuine superstar in her day.

She carried a license to wear men’s clothing, issued by the Paris police. Because she hung out in abbatoirs and stockyards (also, she was a committed old dyke). I don’t know what happened to women in Paris who were caught with trousers and no trouser license.

She left an enormous body of very competent work, but she’s been all but forgotten since her death. The main reason: her work was very popular in England, and the French press took to describing her and her work in English. As an insult. Yes, that shit is still going on.

Go check her out. And have a lovely weekend, everyone!

January 19, 2018 — 8:58 pm
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