French animal painter or animalière Rosa Bonheur 1822-1899
Bonheur was born in Bordeaux, Gironde, the oldest in a family of artists. Her father Raimond Bonheur (friends with Francisco Goya who was living in Bordeaux in exile) was a landscape and portrait painter. In 1828, at the age of six Rosa moved to Paris with her mother and brothers. As was traditional in the art schools of the period, Bonheur began her artistic training by copying images from drawing books. As her training progressed she began to make studies of domesticated animals from life, to include horses, sheep, cows, goats, rabbits and other animals in the pastures on the perimeter of Paris. At age fourteen she began to copy from paintings at the Louvre. She also studied animal anatomy and osteology and by performing dissections of animals at the the National Veterinary Institute in Paris.
Rosa is perhaps most famous today because she was known for wearing men's clothing and living with women. Her work and artistic talent has now become somewhat secondary in importance to her manner of dress, her choice of companions and her penchant for smoking cigarettes.