Throughout her life, Rosa Bonheur kept almost all of her sketches, thus constituting a kind of “database”. These private creations – drawings, oils, watercolours, pastels, caricatures, comic strips – were sometimes notes that she took at random from her travels, sometimes preparatory studies for a particular painting, or even illustrations of great myths. She always refused to sell them.
When she died in 1899, these hidden works were sold at auction, representing more than 4,700 works. In the months leading up to the sale, the american painter Anna Klumpke, Rosa Bonheur’s “adopted daughter” and universal legatee, photographed all these works on glass plates in order to preserve a trace of them in the archives. For over 100 years these glass negatives lay forgotten in the attic at Thoméry. Today, many of the original works have disappeared leaving as the only trace of their existence, these black and white negative images on glass plates which were recently discovered by the new owners of the Château de Rosa Bonheur. About 100 photographs are presented to the public in the form of modern prints until 28 August 2022.
Château de Rosa Bonheur How to get there
12 rue Rosa Bonheur,
33 (0)9 87 12 35 04
website (in English)
See also the exhibition Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899)
More information about events for the Bicentenary of Rosa Bonheur on the Seine et Marne website (in French)