Rosa's Animals: The Story of Rosa Bonheur and Her Painting Menagerie

64p. bibliog. index. notes. photos. reprods. Abrams. Jun. 2018. Tr $21.99. ISBN 9781419728501.
Gr 4–6—Artist and trailblazer Rosa Bonheur lived a life that was anything but conventional. Bonheur loved to draw and used her imagination to recreate what she observed in nature as a child. While traveling in Paris, she became fascinated by the creatures of the city, especially horses, which quickly became her favorite subject and inspired her life's work. Defying all expectations of young women of her time, she not only attended school, but also studied art as a pupil of her father, who was also an artist. Despite illness and multiple setbacks, Bonheur fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming an artist; she never gave up and persisted even in the face of criticism and doubt. Her most famous work, The Horse Fair, hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is regarded as one of the finest examples of Realist painting in the world. High-definition, full-page reproductions of her artwork, as well as supporting historical information about the era in which Bonheur lived, make this an accessible portrait of the artist. However, MacDonald presents Bonheur's admiration of painter George Catlin and friendship with Buffalo Bill without commentary on their exploitation of American Indians. A detailed bibliography as well as a list of her paintings and their museum locations provide additional context.
VERDICT Consider for robust art history collections.

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