Rosa Bonheur

Marie-Rosalie Bonheur (1822 - 1899)

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Marie-Rosalie (Rosa) Bonheur
Born in Bordeaux, Gironde, Francemap
Daughter of and [mother unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in Thomery, Seine-et-Marne, Francemap
Profile last modified | Created 26 Dec 2017
This page has been accessed 195 times.

Categories: Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, Paris, France | Women's History | French Artists | Thomery, Seine-et-Marne | Bordeaux, Gironde | Officiers de la Légion d'honneur | Peintres Français.

Rosa Bonheur est Français ou d'origine Française.
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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.[1][2]

Research Notes

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.


  1. acte de décès: Thomery, 1888-1903, Cote 6E 489/13, acte 15, vue 256, consulté le 25 décembre 2017.

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No known carriers of Rosa's ancestors' mitochondrial DNA have taken an mtDNA test and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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Images: 4
Portrait de Marie-Rosalie dite Rosa Bonheur
Portrait de Marie-Rosalie dite Rosa Bonheur

Le marché aux chevaux
Le marché aux chevaux

Ploughing in Nevers
 Ploughing in Nevers

Rosa Bonheur by Anna E. Klumpke
Rosa Bonheur by Anna E. Klumpke

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On 22 Aug 2018 at 19:21 GMT Laura Davison wrote:

The year of Rosa's death, there was a poor young student Frank Argelander in a grammar school in Brooklyn, New York who wrote a simple essay about this artist. The essay would be the only such essay that survived his missionary wandering life. In the essay the student speaks about how the class and the principal raised money to purchase the painting for the classroom.

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