Lines and Colors art blog

Eye Candy for Today: Rosa Bonheur’s The Horse Fair

The Horse Fair, Rosa Bonheur, oil on canvas, roughly 96 x 200 inches (245 x 507 cm), Study for “The Horse Fair”, chalk and wash with gouache highlights on paper, roughly 5 x 13 inches (14 x 34 cm); both in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Rosa Bonueur was the best known painter of animals in 19th century Europe, and The Horse Fair was her most acclaimed work. The painting is large, almost 8 feet by 15 feet, and filled with drama, both in terms of the motion-filled subject and in the bold value contrasts of the composition.

Bonheur did studies and alternate versions of the painting (one of which is in the National Gallery, London), which she called her “Parthenon frieze”, alluding to the multi-figured relief created to adorn that Greek temple, which featured numerous depictions of horses.

For more, see my previous post on Rosa Bonheur.