Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rosa Bonheur: Ploughing the Way for Women's Rights

Rosa Bonheur's "Ploughing the Nivernais" is a highly detailed piece. The clods of dirt are very distinguishable from one another and the animals are so accurately portrayed that they look like they could walk right out of the frame. Her paintings were known for their accuracy. The critics in Bonheur's time praised her skill, but in a slightly back-handed way. One said of her "she paints like a man". The modern society thought that women couldn't paint with the same skill as men, and if women did paint, it was usually in watercolors.

Bohneur painted with skill in oil paints, completely combating those stereotypes. She also dressed in men's clothes and cut her hair short in order to blend in to the areas where she observed animals. As a part of the Saint-Simonians society, she advocated women's rights. 7
In the suffrage movement, people created posters that showed women working in a way that didn't belittle their work or make them seem like delicate, unintelligent beings. They showed working women to connect the ideas of women and the working class. Both Rosa Bonheur and the selected pieces didn't try to attack those who didn't think that women were capable of certain actions, but they showed that women were both capable and worthy of respect.

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