Labourage Nivernais was commissioned in 1849 by the French government, after
Rosa Bonheur won first prize in the Salon of 1848, in Paris, for her painting of red oxen.
In preparation of the big painting, Rosa made a small (16" x 8.5") study
showing a lot of detail. This painting is now at the R.W. Norton Art Gallery in
R.W. Norton Art Gallery in Shreveport, LA
The large commissioned painting was completed in 1849 and brought Rosa
Bonheur further critical and popular acclaim when exhibited at the Salon. This painting is
in the Musee dOrsay, Paris, and is 52.5 inches x 102 inches.
In the next months she made another version of the same painting
(completed in 1850), which now hangs in the Ringling Museum. It is exactly the same size
as the painting in Paris.
If you study both pictures you will notice some
differences, particularly in the fields, trees and sky. The color differences in the
pictures must be (largely) due to the photography.
Subj: RE: Rosa Bonheur painting
Dear Mr. van Osnabrugge:
Thank you for your inquiry. Our Bonheur painting measures 8-1/2" x 16" and
appears to be a study for the larger first version in the Musee National de Chateau,
Fontainebleau, painted in 1849 and The Ringling Museum's version dated 1850.
I was in correspondence with your Elizabeth Telford, Head, Collections Management, in 1989
regarding our painting and yours, which, at that time, was included in a Bonheur
exhibition at the Meadows Museum of Art in Dallas, Texas.
R.W. Norton Art Gallery
4747 Creswell Ave.
Shreveport, LA 71106-1899
Sent: Sunday, September 14
Subject: Rosa Bonheur painting
I have read that your Museum owns one of the 3 paintings of "ploughing in
Nivernais" by Rosa Bonheur.
Can you confirm if that is true? And if so, can you give me the exact measurements of the
Willem van Osnabrugge
Docent Ringling Museum Sarasota