More about Anna Elizabeth Klumpke

  • All
  • Info
  • Shop

Works by Anna Elizabeth Klumpke


As a child, Anna Elizabeth Klumpke received a Rosa Bonheur doll as a gift. 

Klumpke fell in love with the artist, her work, and art as an occupation after seeing Bonheur's dynamic and brilliant painting The Horse Fair. Klumpke, born to a German immigrant family in San Francisco just after the Gold Rush, fell from a chair at two years old, dislocating her knee. As the surgical skills of local doctors were inadequate in those days, she was unable to walk for much of her early life. She knew that in order to create the life she wanted, she would need to find skills that neither required making herself attractive to suitors, nor using her physical abilities. Art became the opportunity she needed.

Klumpke was also only vaguely attached to the United States, as her mother left for Germany with the children shortly following her divorce in 1872. Klumpke had no trouble adjusting to the German language, as it was her native tongue, and the family did not speak English.

Studying art in Paris, Klumpke fell in love once again with Bonheur, and a stranger offered her $200 for the copy she was making of Bonheur's Plowing in Nivernais. This money helped to pay Klumpke's tuition for the Académie Julian, which also taught Henri Matisse, Cecilia Beaux, and Diego Rivera.

In 1889 Klumpke won major recognition from French critics and the public for her painting In the Wash House, which depicts the connection of a group of women washing their clothing in the same washbasin. The same year, Klumpke's beloved Bonheur invited her to visit. Klumpke returned to the U.S. and painted there for nine years, then moved back to France to live with Bonheur at the end of Bonheur's life.

Bonheur wrote, "I give and will to Anna Elizabeth Klumpke, my partner and painting colleague and my friend, all that I possess on the day of my death, making her my universal legatee." Klumpe's most famous work is her portrait of Bonheur.




Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Anna Elizabeth Klumpke

Anna Elizabeth Klumpke (October 28, 1856 – February 9, 1942) was an American portrait and genre painter born in San Francisco, California, United States. She is perhaps best known for her portraits of famous women including Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1889) and Rosa Bonheur (1898).

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Anna Elizabeth Klumpke