Saturday in the Museum with Rosa

Image: Rosa Bonheur, The Highland Shepherd (1859).

One of the benefits of searching out art on a specific topic is the chance to discover lesser-known artists. The more narrow the topic, the deeper one must dig. In our case, the subject we have focused on this year is the sources of food. The serendipitous discovery this week is the artist Rosa Bonheur.

Bonheur was a French painter who gained fame in the 19th century as a painter of animals. This work came from a trip she made to Britain, where she met Queen Victoria – who was not the only famous person she crossed paths with. The painting is in the collection of the Kunsthalle Hamburg.

Bonheur’s life is one of determination and striking her own path. Born to an artistic family in Bordeaux in 1922, she chafed at school. Her father encouraged her art and an early government commission helped her get her professional career going. She received special dispensation from the authorities to wear pants, which were illegal for women at the time. She live for 40 years with her partner Nathalie Micas. After the death of Micas, an American painter and admirer Anna Klumpke paid her a visit and ended up moving in with her.

Bonheur’s association with animals is so strong that there is a cemetery in Maryland that is named in her honor where owners were buried with their pets.


While we post on art on Saturday, the rest of the time we are dining guide for Washington, D.C. with 300+ recommended restaurants in the guide, that you can sort by cuisine, neighborhood, and current operating status (dine-in and/or take-out, etc.) in either LIST or MAP format.  Though operating status is changing day-to-day, so be sure to double-check.

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