Rosa Bonheur (Anna Elizabeth Klumpke)

Rosa Bonheur
Anna Klumpke - Portrait of Rosa Bonheur (1898).jpg
ArtistAnna Elizabeth Klumpke Edit this on Wikidata
Mediumoil paint, canvas
Dimensions117.2 cm (46.1 in) × 98.1 cm (38.6 in)
Accession No.22.222 Edit this on Wikidata
IdentifiersThe Met object ID: 11348

Rosa Bonheur is an 1898 painting by Anna Elizabeth Klumpke. The portrait of the French artist Rosa Bonheur has been in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1922.[1]

Early history and creation

Bonheur was an artist whom Klumpke "had long admired."[2] The two artists had been corresponding for some time prior to 1898.[3] Klumpke was persuaded by a conversation with members of the Douglas Miller family to ask to paint Bonheur.[4] On September 14, 1897, Klumpke wrote to Bonheur, asking if she might paint her portrait. [5] On March 31, 1898, Bonheur responded, "I am at your disposal, dear mademoiselle, for the portrait."[6]

Kumpke started work on the oil on canvas portrait in June 1898. Klumpke wrote that she "was delighted that Rosa Bonheur had offered of her own accord to pose in women's clothes."[7] Bonheur would not pose for Klumpke every day, saying that she "can't stand long sittings."[8] During the times she posed for Klumpke, the two artists talked about art and literature, told stories, and discussed religion and morality.[9] Klumpke's work on the painting was also dictated by Bonheur, who wanted the younger artist to follow her suggestions about sketching and artwork.[10] Maria Tamboukou writes that the interplay of conversation and sittings for the creation of the painting show Bonheur to be "a woman in love" with Klumpke.[11]