Weaning the Calves

Rosa Bonheur (French, Bordeaux 1822–1899 Thomery)

Oil on canvas
25 5/8 x 32 in. (65.1 x 81.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Bequest of Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, 1887
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    The scene is probably located on one of the high pasturelands of the Pyrenees. Rosa Bonheur took a trip there in 1850 and brought back many studies that she used throughout her career.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): Rosa Bonheur / 1879

  • Provenance

    [Knoedler, New York, until 1880; sold March 11, 1880 for $12,500 to Wolfe]; Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, New York (1880–d. 1887)

  • Exhibition History

    New York. Knoedler. "An Exhibition of Paintings and Prints of Every Description, on the Occasion of Knoedler, One Hundred Years, 1846–1946," April 1–27, 1946, no. 10.

    American Federation of the Arts. "A Landscape View of 19th Century France (circulating exhibition)," September 1, 1954–1957, no catalogue?

    Columbus, Ga. Columbus Museum of Arts and Crafts. "A Centenary of a Great Museum: Old Master Paintings," November 1, 1969–October 31, 1970, unnum. checklist.

    Queens, N.Y. Queens Museum. "The Artist's Menagerie: Five Millennia of Animals in Art," June 29–August 25, 1974, no. 72.

    Queens, N.Y. Queens Museum. "Cows," July 17–September 12, 1976, no. 8.

    Gifu, Japan. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Gifu. "Paris autour de 1882: Le développemént de la peinture moderne en France et Hôsui Yamamoto," November 3–December 19, 1982, no. 52.

    Kamakura. Kanagawa Museum of Modern Art. "Paris autour de 1882: Le développemént de la peinture moderne en France et Hôsui Yamamoto," January 20–February 20, 1983, no. 52.

    New York. School of Visual Arts, Visual Arts Museum. "Les Animaliers and Animals in Early Nineteenth-Century French Art," April 8–27, 1985, no catalogue.

  • References

    "Gallery and Studio: The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Art Amateur 18 (December 1887), p. 7.

    Montezuma [Montague Marks]. "My Note Book." Art Amateur 16 (May 1887), p. 122.

    Mrs. Schuyler van Rensselaer. "The Wolfe Collection at the Metropolitan Museum. II." Independent 39 (November 24, 1887), p. 9.

    Cyclopedia of Painters and Paintings. New York, 1892, vol. 1, p. 177.

    "The Metropolitan Museum of Art—The French Painters." New York Times (May 22, 1895), p. 4.

    Anna Klumpke. Rosa Bonheur: Sa vie, son oeuvre. Paris, 1908, p. 426, ill. p. 377 [English ed., "Rosa Bonheur: The Artist's (Auto)biography," Ann Arbor, 1997, p. 278], lists it among works that the artist did not exhibit.

    Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. "XIX Century." French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2, New York, 1966, p. 164, ill., suggest that it depicts one of the high pasture lands of the Pyrenees, noting that Bonheur travelled there in 1850 and used her studies from the trip throughout her career.

    Rosalia Shriver. Rosa Bonheur: With a Checklist of Works in American Collections. Philadelphia, 1982, p. 56.

    Maureen C. O'Brien in Maureen C. O'Brien. In Support of Liberty: European Paintings at the 1883 Pedestal Fund Art Loan Exhibition. Exh. cat., Parrish Art Museum. Southampton, N.Y., 1986, p. 134 n. 4, under no. 6.

    Rebecca A. Rabinow. "Catharine Lorillard Wolfe: The First Woman Benefactor of the Metropolitan Museum." Apollo 147 (March 1998), pp. 52, 55 n. 28, fig. 8 (color), notes that Wolfe purchased this painting from Knoedler on March 11, 1880 for $12,500.

    David Stark. European Painting in the Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth. Duluth, 2000, p. 52, fig. 1, attributes the Tweed Museum version of this picture to Bonheur, calling it a replica of ours.

  • Notes

    A version of this picture (21 x 28 in., signed or inscribed, lower left: Rosa Bonheur) is in the Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota, Duluth [see Ref. Stark 2000].

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History