A forgotten French icon: The life and art of animal painter Rosa Bonheur

We explore the life and artwork of French artist Rosa Bonheur, who was a pioneer – both as a painter and as a woman – in 19th century society. Two centuries years after her birth, major exhibitions are being held in France to celebrate her extraordinary legacy. In Paris, the Musée d'Orsay is hosting a special exhibition for this anniversary. Co-curator Leïla Jarbouai tells us more about Bonheur's body of work.

Bonheur's art was extremely popular in the United States, both during her lifetime and after her death. Her defence of animals, her respect for rural landscapes and her resolute independence mean she was well ahead of her time.

An internationally renowned artist, Bonheur lived and worked in the Chateau de By, close to the forest of Fontainebleau. To learn more about the woman herself, we meet Katherine Brault, who owns the chateau today.


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