Monday, October 8, 2012

Rosa Bonheur

Rosa Bonheur was a French realist artist. She was born on March 16, 1822 and died on March 25 1899. Bonheur was born in Bordeaux, Gironde, the oldest child in a family of artists. Her father Oscar-Raymond Bonheur was a landscape and portrait painter. Rosa began her artistic training with her father at the age of thirteen. Bonheur's younger siblings included the animal painters Auguste Bonheur and Juliette Bonheur and the animal sculptor Isidore Jules Bonheur. Bonheur is widely considered to be the most famous female painter of the nineteenth century. I found all of her works to be really captivating. The amount of detail and shading she uses almost brings the painting to life. While looking through her pictures I believed they were actually photographs at certain points. I also chose her because I feel that famous artists mainly talked about are men, and felt that it would be a refreshing change of pace to look at and discuss a female artist. Rosa was the first woman awarded the Grand Cross by the French Legion of Honor and also one of the first renowned painters of animals. I also love animals and have a passion for them, so I felt like many of her paintings also resonated with me on that level as well.

  Couching Lion
Rosa believed that every living creature had a soul and therefore she found a great interest in capturing them, as well as the landscape around them, in her works. She even owned many animals, one of which was a lion! This painting is an oil painting on canvas. It encompasses a lot of shading and value. It also depicts the empirical perspective we were learning about today. There is a clear foreground, middle-ground, and background. The strong lines used allow for heavy detail in the lion, as well as the mountains in the background.

The Horse Fair
This artwork was exhibited at the Salon of 1853 and finished in 1855. It can now be found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City. The Dimensions of the painting are 96 1/4 x 199 1/2 in. (244.5 x 506.7 cm). This painting has become one of the Metropolitan Museum's best-known works of art. Rosa sketched twice a week at the horse market in Paris for a year and a half while preparing to make this painting. She actually often dressed like a man to draw less attention to herself. The tree lines in the background are actually very accurate. This picture all encompasses many aspects of shading and value, as well as empirical perspective.


Ploughing in the Nivernais
This painting was first exhibited at the Salon of 1848. Now it can be found in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. It depicts a team of oxen ploughing a field while attended by peasants set against a vast pastoral landscape. It shows the first ploughing or dressing, which was done in early autumn to break the surface of the soil and aerate it during the winter. Dimensions are H. 1.34; W. 2.6 m. There is a very strong foreground with the cattle plowing the soil, and it is set in with the subtle background of the rolling hills and trees in the left corner. The softer background sets a nice tone for the strong foreground. Like all of her other paintings, the shading and value is amazing. For the main fact that she is a realistic artist, the objects and scenes being painted must really look lifelike and have depth.


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