Google honored Rosa Bonheur, one of the most prominent female painters of the 19th century, with a beautiful doodle on its homepage to commemorate her 200th birthday.
Bonheur, whose successful career has inspired a “future generation of women in the arts,” is known for her realist style. The celebrated artist, an animal painter, was similarly depicted on the search engine’s homepage.
The doodle, which corresponded to her painting style, depicted the artist sitting under a tree, overlooking a green pasture with a flock of sheep. Bonheur was spotted painting in a natural setting.
Rosa Bonheur was born in Bordeaux, France on this day in 1822. Her father, a minor landscape painter, aided her early artistic education. Although her ambitions for a career in the arts were unusual for a woman at the time, Bonheur closely followed the evolution of artistic traditions through years of careful study and sketching before immortalizing them on canvas.
From 1841 to 1853, Bonheur’s reputation as an animal painter and sculptor grew, exhibiting many of her works at the prestigious Paris Salon. Scholars believe her professional career began with an 1849 exhibition of “Plowing in Nivernais,” a government commission now housed in France’s Musée Nationale du Château de Fontainebleau. Bonheur achieved international acclaim in 1853 with her painting “The Horse Fair,” which depicted the Paris horse market. This painting, her most well-known work, is still on display at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In 1865, the French Empress Eugénie awarded Bonheur the Legion of Honor, one of the nation’s most prestigious awards, in recognition of this celebrated painting.