Eminent Women of the Age: Being Narratives of the Lives and Deeds of the Most Prominent Women of the Present Generation

By James Parton ; Horace Greeley et al. | Go to book overview
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ROSA BONHEUR.

BY PROF. JAMES M. HOPPIN.

THE happy and beautiful name which heads this article is befitting the career of one of the most famed and brilliant of women; but, apt as it is, it fails to give us an idea of the remarkable energy and brave persistency of character by which its possessor has fairly acquired her fame.

About ten years ago, a gallery of French paintings of some of the most noted modern artists was opened for exhibition in the city of New York, in which, notwithstanding two vigorous pictures by Dubufe, senior, and one or two landscapes by Isabey, and some other works of well-known painters, by far the most interesting picture in the collection, which drew all eyes to it, was the portrait of Rosa Bonheur, by Dubufe, junior, which is now classical.

The face of Mademoiselle Bonheur, in this portrait, is full of fire. The bright, black eyes have great intensity of ex. pression. The features, by no means beautiful, are yet noble, and convey the impression of concentrated force, as if sharpened by thought. The hair, cut short, is parted like a man's on one side of the head; and the costume, also, gives the suspicion of something like masculine attire. The keen and ardent intellectuality of the countenance contrasts strongly with the placid, "sousie" expression, the stubbed horns, and gentle eyes of the well-fed, amiable yearling, whose portrait

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