Rosa Bonheur was a famed French Realist painter.
Marie Rosalie "Rosa" Bonheur was born in Bordeaux, France on March 16, 1822. She was the daughter of Raymond Bonheur and Sophie Marquis. She was a commercially successful painter in an era when few women were able to pursue a career in the arts. She was the foremost French "animalier" (animal painter) of her age. Her belief in women's equality and her personal habits, which included dressing in men's clothing and smoking cigars, marked her as a precursor of early feminists. She became the first female recipient of the French Legion of Honor in 1865. However, the award could only be presented to her when Emperor Louis-Napoleon was out of town, because he opposed the bestowal of this award on a woman. She was 77 years old at the time of her death.
She was so admired that she had dolls made in her image. She was one of 12 women permitted to wear trousers in Paris in the 1850's. She had two close long term relationships with women that are thought by most to be of an intimate nature. A biography was written by Anna Klumpke, who inherited her estate against the wishes of Rosa's family. She continues to be mentioned by many as one of the most influential women of all time.
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On 22 Aug 2018 at 19:21 GMT Laura Davison wrote: