More about Sheep by the Sea
These sweet little clouds depicted in Sheep by the Sea are just hanging out waiting patiently for Rosa Bonheur to leave them TF alone.
They have quite the “Eff off Rosa” look in their eye and are tired of staying still for this stupid portrait. Gaaaaad! Rosa Bonheur loved to paint animals since she was a little kid, and because she got kicked out of most schools she attended, she got to paint animals professionally! Woohoo? The more time Bonheur spent with humans, the more she liked her sheep and cow friends, and it got to the point where she became the crazy cattle lady and painted livestock exclusively. After she made it to the big time (the Paris Salon 1853) with The Horse Fair, her popularity began to subside. Bonheur’s gallerist, Ernest Gambart, decided that it would be a good idea for Bonheur to visit the United Kingdom to both draw inspiration from lots of sheep and cows in picturesque landscapes and to raise awareness of Rosa Bonheur among the English and Scottish elite. It was a win for everyone, but especially for Bonheur because she wasn’t paying for any of it.
During this time, Bonheur’s partner and an artist in her own right, Nathalie Micas, got to tag along, and because the two spoke no English, Gambart also accompanied them. In later years, Bonheur's assistant, Anna Klumpke, recorded that Bonheur's party “spent over two weeks at Ballachullish, staying in a small hotel ‘wedged between the sea and the mountains.'" They likely selected this area because the Pass of Glencoe was a drove way, a road for droving livestock from one place to another, and as such presented Bonheur with plenty of opportunity to sketch the sheep and Highland cows. While tromping over the Highlands, Micas wrote they were seldom able to hire a boy to carry all of Bonheur's painting supplies, so Gambart ended up carrying them himself like a "beast of burden." A devoted gallerist indeed! But it ensured that he got his paintings, and Rosa got to spend time the way she liked--with fewer people and lots of animals.
- "SHEEP BY THE SEA 1865." National Museum of Women in the Arts. Web. 11 Sept. 2017.
- Fowle, Frances. "Picturing The Highlands: Rosa Bonheur’s Grand Tour Of Scotland." Academia.edu. N.p., 2014. Accessed 11 September, 2017.