Recumbent Ewe

WAG 6165


This bronze sculpture of a resting ewe is by celebrated French artist Rosa Bonheur. Though primarily known as a painter of animals, Bonheur also produced sculptures. She had learnt to cast in her father's workshop, where she served as his apprentice. Sculpture was, in Bonheur’s day, regarded as the least lady-like of all of the arts. Bonheur helped pave the way for other female artists, such as Harriet Hosmer (1830-1908) and Edmonia Lewis (1844-1907), to work as professional sculptors. The Walker’s casting was done by François-Auguste-Hippolyte Peyrol (1856-1929). Peyrol was married to Bonheur's sister Juliette. He is chiefly known for having been the bronze founder of Isidore Bonheur's and Rosa Bonheur's sculpture in that material but was also an animalier sculptor, specialising in domestic animals. The original, also cast by Peyrol, was exhibited at the 1848 Paris Salon where Rosa Bonheur was awarded a First Class medal.