Head of a Bull
Rosa Bonheur’s closely observed animal paintings made her one of the most commercially successful artists in mid-nineteenth-century France. Though not identified with a particular finished oil painting, this watercolor sketch of a bull is typical of the kind of preparatory studies she made directly from nature.
Throughout her lifetime, Bonheur defied norms for women’s behavior. She wore masculine attire and lived with another woman, Nathalie Micas, for forty years, writing, “Had I been a man I would have married her. . . . I would have had a family, with my children as heirs, and nobody would have had any right to complain.”
Watercolor and graphite on cream wove paper
4 15/16 x 6 7/8 in. (12.5 x 17.5 cm) (show scale)
Signed lower left: "Rosa Bonheur"
Gift of John Hill Morgan
This item is not on view
Rosa Bonheur (French, 1822-1899). Head of a Bull, n.d. Watercolor and graphite on cream wove paper, 4 15/16 x 6 7/8 in. (12.5 x 17.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of John Hill Morgan, 22.80 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.80.jpg)
overall, 22.80.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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