Wealthy, Famous and Ignored: Redemption of Rosa Bonheur

By Abir Pothi

Fogotten legacy of Rosa Bonheur

In the 19th century, Rosa was celebrated and widely known in Western Art circles, and 20th century, she was forgotten. At the beginning of 2023, the ‌Musée d’Orsay in Paris bring her works into an exhibition and get her back into artistic life with a retrospective on the bicentennial of her birth, the most extensive collection of her artworks ever and the first primary Bonheur display in Paris for a century.

Career and works

Rosa was born into an artistic family. Her father and mother trained her to paint early; her mother asked her to paint different creatures for each alphabet letter when she taught her to read.

The Horse Fair

The Horse Fair is Rosa’s second important work, depicting dealers selling horses at the horse market held on the Boulevard de l’Hôpital in Paris.


Rosa died in 1899 at 77 after a successful artistic career. She was selected as an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Water Colourists in London