La foire aux chevaux (1852-1855)

Bonheur, Rosa (1822-1899)

La foire aux chevaux (The Horse Fair)
Oil on canvas, 244.5 x 506.7 cm
Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York

This, Bonheur’s best-known painting, shows the horse market held in Paris on the tree-lined Boulevard de l’Hôpital, near the asylum of Salpêtrière, which is visible in the left background. For a year and a half Bonheur sketched there twice a week, dressing as a man to discourage attention. Bonheur was well established as an animal painter when the painting debuted at the Paris Salon of 1853, where it received wide praise. In arriving at the final scheme, the artist drew inspiration from George Stubbs, Théodore Géricault, Eugène Delacroix, and ancient Greek sculpture: she referred to The Horse Fair as her own “Parthenon frieze.” (MET)


Bonheur, Rosa (1822-1899)
La foire aux chevaux
National GalleryLondon