Labourages Nivernais

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 Shreveport, LA

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 d’Orsay, 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.

Musee d’Orsay

Ringling Museum

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
Date: 09/15/2003

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.


Jerry Bloomer
Public Relations
R.W. Norton Art Gallery
4747 Creswell Ave.
Shreveport, LA 71106-1899
Phone: 318-865-4201

-----Original Message----------------------------
Sent: Sunday, September 14
Subject: Rosa Bonheur painting

Good morning.

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 painting?

Thank you.

Willem van Osnabrugge
Docent Ringling Museum Sarasota