A finely cast bronze sculpture after the model by Rosa Bonheur, this gorgeous little work of a bellowing bull is finished in a most attractive reddish-brown patina with a chaotic rubbed gilding, entirely original and remaining in excellent condition. The cast is carefully chiseled and the finishing quality is simply gorgeous - cast and finished by the Peyrol foundry, the primary founder for her sculptures with renown for singularly excellent craftsmanship, the bull is a picture of realism. Even the bull’s coat is carefully chiseled to create the surface texture of hair, allowing the darker patina to react more fully in the recesses along the sides of his body, while more fully developed hair is cast along his head and back. The naturalistic base is signed “Rosa B.”
For serious collectors of French sculpture of the period, particularly of the Animaliers, this is an exquisite find.
Marie-Rosalie (Rosa) Bonheur (France, 1822-1899) was born in Bordeaux, France on March 16th, 1822. A very well known painter of animal scenes, she studied under her father, Raymond Bonheur, and with Cogniet. She first exhibited at the Salon in 1841 with a selection of paintings, exhibiting again in 1842 and bringing her first sculpture to debut in 1843. Over the next seven years, she produced roughly fifteen animalier models, many of these sculptures in terra cotta and plaster that were cast later in bronze. Among her numerous awards was a Salon Gold Medal in 1848, the LH in 1865 and the LHO 1893. After winning the Gold Medal at Salon for a painting, she began to focus more entirely on her paintings.
Literature and research:
Horswell, Jane, "Les Animaliers”
Kjellberg, Pierre, "Bronzes of the 19th Century", page 106-7
Forrest, Michael, "Art Bronzes", page 471
Measurements: 3 7/8” D x 8 1/2” W x 6” H
Condition Report: Some patina discoloration, including a black discoloration in his ribs. Overall in exceptional condition.