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Rosa Bonheur's Plowing in the Nivernais (1849) : the circumstances of success Browne, Julia Margaret 1989

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ROSA BONHEUR'8 PLOWING IN THE NIVERNAIS (1849): THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF SUCCESS. By J u l i a Margaret Browne Honours B .A. , The Un ivers i ty of V i c t o r i a , 1964 B . L . S . , The Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1966 Diploma, V i s u a l Ar ts s tud io , Simon Fraser U n i v e r s i t y , 1980 Diploma, Ar t H i s t o r y , The Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1986 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS (Department of F ine Arts) We accept t h i s thes i s as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA SEPTEMBER 1989 (c) J u l i a Margaret Browne, 1989 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of f ? A7 £ ^ * The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date ,:A:T>A /C- "J J — DE-6 (2/88) i i ABSTRACT Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899), the mid-nineteenth century French painter of r u r a l landscapes, has been h e r o i c a l l y constructed by twentieth century studies as an independent and strong-willed 'woman a r t i s t . • This personality attributed to Bonheur has also been conflated with her success as an a r t i s t i n the Second Empire. This thesis w i l l focus on Rosa Bonheur's painting Plowing i n the Nivernais at the Salon of 1849, the occasion of her f i r s t major c r i t i c a l acclaim, with regard to the issues of landscape, gender and patronage i n the p o l i t i c a l context of 1848 and 1849. The main i n t e r e s t of t h i s study w i l l be to suggest h i s t o r i c a l l y based reasons for her reception at the Salon of 1849, thereby deconstructing the myth of the 'woman a r t i s t ' as responsible for her success. Chapter One w i l l look at the chief aspects of Bonheur's mythic i d e n t i t y , investigating discrepancies between these and the case of p o l i t i c a l l y active women i n 1848 and 1849. While discussing the hist o r y of these Republican years, reasons for Bonheur*s large commission w i l l be examined i n regard to her p r i o r career, personal p o l i t i c a l connections, to painting category of landscape and to the market. Chapter Two w i l l deal with the h i s t o r i c a l and p o l i t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of Nivernais as a location and with the means of representation of t h i s r u r a l landscape i n terms of a ru r a l myth. Chapter Three w i l l focus on c r i t i c a l reception of the painting at the Salon of 1849 with attention to two p a r t i c u l a r ways i n which the discourse (amongst other factors) causes the painting to function p o s i t i v e l y at t h i s p a r t i c u l a r h i s t o r i c a l moment i n France. i i i ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would l i k e to thank my husband George and daughter Caroline for t h e i r patient support of t h i s project over the long hours. I wish to acknowledge the extensive guidance of Dr. Maureen Ryan, my f i r s t reader, i n a range of concerns from the i n t e l l e c t u a l to the esoteric. Dr. Rose Marie San Juan, my second reader, also played an important part i n the formation of t h i s thesis with her c r i t i c a l incisiveness. F i n a l l y , the Fine Arts department and Graduate Studies contributed to t h i s work's completion through t h e i r award of the U.B.C. Summer Research Fellowship. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE ABSTRACT i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENT i i i LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS V INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER -1. Rosa Bonheur's Mythic I d e n t i t y and I t s D e c o n s t r u c t i o n 4 The c r e a t i o n of a myth i n the l i t e r a t u r e H i s t o r y v s . myth, a new look a t success The commission, the a r t market, landscape p a i n t i n g 2. N i v e r n a i s : S i g n i f i c a n c e o f L o c a l e and Means of Re p r e s e n t a t i o n 23 The l o c a l e o f N i v e r n a i s The image and the r u r a l myth An a l t e r n a t e r e a d i n g o f the landscape 3. C r i t i c a l D i s c o u r s e 40 P o s i t i v e c r i t i c a l r e c e p t i o n C r i t i c a l d i s c o u r s e and the r u r a l myth Gendered d i s c o u r s e Reasons f o r Bonheur's r e c e p t i o n (1849): a h i s t o r i c a l r e a d i n g ILLUSTRATIONS 62 BIBLIOGRAPHY 65 V LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS F i g u r e Page 1. Rosa Bonheur's commission from the Ministry of the Inte r i o r , July 11, 1848. France, National Archives 61 2. Rosa Bonheur, Plowing i n the Nivernais. Paris, Musee d'Orsay 62 3. The Soane Booke of Hours. September -October Calendar 63 INTRODUCTION The young French a r t i s t Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899) entered her r u r a l landscape Plowing i n the Nivernais f o r exh i b i t i o n i n the Salon of 1849. The painting, 173 by 260 centimetres i n dimension, showed a scene of peaceful, constructive labour i n the French countryside and focused on a large team of oxen plowing a f i e l d . I t evolved from a commission offered by the Second Republican government i n July 1848 (see F i g . 1 and discussion, Chapter 1) and was completed by Bonheur shortly before the Salon's opening i n mid-June, 1849. Several c r i t i c s reviewing t h i s Salon entry in 1849 suggested i t to be the outstanding work of the exhibition, and the tenor of the c r i t i c a l response toward i t was on the whole overwhelmingly p o s i t i v e . 1 This reaction by the c r i t i c s to Rosa Bonheur's painting (the work of a heretofore minor a r t i s t ) occurred at a time i n France when s o c i a l behaviour was extremely confined by gender and class r e s t r i c t i v e c o d i f i c a t i o n s . Respectable bourgeois class women c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y inhabited a private, domestic i n t e r i o r which served to both define and separate t h e i r 'feminine i d e n t i t y ' from t h e i r masculine counterparts' associations with commerce, competition, and the stree t s . The currency of roles such as these had purchase not only i n society at large, but also i n the a r t i s t i c marketplace where the c r i t i c s viewed production by women as apart from male or For a complete l i s t of the c r i t i c a l reviews read for use i n t h i s thesis, see the Bibliography under the heading 'Reviews of the Salon of 1849.' The c r i t i c a l response to the Salon of 1849 i s discussed i n d e t a i l i n Chapter 3. 1 2 mainstream pr a c t i c e . When placed i n t h i s milieu, the major c r i t i c a l acclaim received by Rosa Bonheur at the Salon of 1849 f o r her painting Plowing i n the Nivernais becomes a subject layered with provocative and i n t r i g u i n g dimensions insofar as h i s t o r i c a l analysis i s concerned. Coherent with t h i s observation, the s p e c i f i c focus of t h i s t h e s i s i s the examination of how Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais functioned within the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l framework of France's s h o r t - l i v e d Second Republic (1848 - 1851) to produce such an enthusiastic response upon e x h i b i t i o n at the Salon of 1849. To t h i s end, my thesis investigates the relationships between the pertinent t h e o r e t i c a l issues of landscape painting, gender, patronage, and p o l i t i c s i n respect to Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais i n 1848 and 1849. I t also focuses on the mythic, heroic i d e n t i t y accorded Rosa Bonheur as the explanation f o r her success by twentieth century writers, and the h i s t o r i c a l deconstruction of that mythology. I t i s intended that t h i s discussion w i l l contribute s p e c i f i c a l l y to an understanding of how Rosa Bonheur could i n i t i a t e a f l o u r i s h i n g career i n 1848 and 1849 (the dates of her f i r s t major c r i t i c a l recognition) and continue t h i s into following years. For example, i n comparison to a r t i s t s such as M i l l e t and Courbet, whose r u r a l subjects were rejected by the government and by academic c r i t i c s , Bonheur Lynda Nead i n Chapter One "The Norm: Respectable Femininity," Myths of Sexuality (Oxford: Basil Blackwood, 1988) outlines the parameters of t h i s concept, though with s p e c i f i c reference to Victorian B r i t a i n . For a discussion of women a r t i s t s ' separation from the mainstream and the main reasons for t h i s , see Charlotte Yeldham, Women A r t i s t s in Nineteenth Century France and England, vols. 1 and 2 (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1984). In her "Abstract" to volume one, she says "After long efforts women were admitted to the Royal Academy Schools i n 1860 and to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1897, but they were not allowed to study from the nude figure at these i n s t i t u t i o n s u n t i l 1903 and 1900 respectively. Throughout the century women who wished to study from l i f e encountered d i f f i c u l t i e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y in England, whether because of the lack of f a c i l i t i e s or social taboo. Women's art was generally stigmatized as accomplishment a r t . " Yeldham, n.p. 3 ' M i l l e t ' and 'Courbet' are Jean-Francois M i l l e t (1814 - 1875) and Gustave Courbet (1819 - 1877). 3 eventually became a painter whose r u r a l landscapes were acquired by both the l e f t Republican regime i n 1849 and Louis Napoleon's subsequent conservative Second Empire which came to power i n 1851. Ad d i t i o n a l l y , the study of a s p e c i f i c r u r a l landscape with a peasant labourer, commissioned during the Second Republic, w i l l also contribute to a f u l l e r understanding of how and why c e r t a i n categories of images - i n t h i s case, r u r a l landscapes - were invested with si g n i f i c a n c e within a s p e c i f i c h i s t o r i c a l period of mid-nineteenth century France. F i n a l l y , i n t e g r a l to discussion of key issues i n regard to Rosa Bonheur's success at the Salon of 1849 i s the presentation and examination of c r i t i c a l discourse from the Salon reviews. Such discourse further informs the matters of landscape, gender and patronage i n respect to the h i s t o r i c a l m i l i e u of 1848 and 1849. The Salon reviews f i r s t of a l l provide evidence of the exhibition audience's reaction to Bonheur's painting. A more detailed investigation of the discourse presents a subtext of varying c r i t i c a l responses i n terms of the issues surrounding Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the  Nivernais i n 1849. F i n a l l y , investigation of the c r i t i c s ' analyses of Bonheur's r u r a l landscape reveals t h e i r employment of p a r t i c u l a r types of a r t i c u l a t i o n i n r e l a t i o n to the issues of landscape and gender. Through an enclosure which i s not s p e c i f i c to the hi s t o r y of 1848 and 1849, the c r i t i c a l discourse regarding these issues dispenses myths which permeate the nineteenth century. Examination of such discourse contributes to an understanding of the c r i t i c s ' r o l e i n Rosa Bonheur's success at the Salon and i n the p a r t i c u l a r p o l i t i c a l circumstances of 1849, as well as to an i n d i c a t i o n of why her success continued i n subsequent years a f t e r 1849. CHAPTER ONE ROSA BONHEUR'S MYTHIC IDENTITY AND ITS DECONSTRUCTION The creat ion of a myth i n the l i t e r a t u r e . Several major treatments of Rosa Bonheur's l i f e and her a r t i s t i c production have appeared i n the twentieth century, and some of these i n recent years. 4 These studies create a mythic, heroic i d e n t i t y for Rosa Bonheur apart from her h i s t o r i c a l circumstances. This i d e n t i t y i s used by the authors of these studies to explain Rosa Bonheur's success as an a r t i s t . The a rt c r i t i c Dore Ashton i n her book Rosa Bonheur. a 5 L i f e and a Legend (1981) constructs Bonheur as a painter undervalued and f o r the most part ignored a f t e r the major success experienced by the a r t i s t during her l i f e t i m e . For example: Dore Ashton, Rosa Bonheur. a L i f e and a Legend (New York: Viking Press, 1981); Albert Boime, "The Case of Rosa Bonheur: Why Should A Woman Want to be More l i k e a Man?" Art History 4, n.4 (December 1981), 384-409; Danielle Digne, Rosa Bonheur ou I'Insolence. Paris: Gonthier, 1980; Theodore Stanton, ed. Reminiscences of Rosa Bonheur. New York: D. Appleton, 1910; repr., New York: Hacker Art Books, 1981. This thesis does not treat the work by Digne because i t i s similar to that of Ashton in i t s main premise, the heroization of the a r t i s t as an exceptional woman. The relationship of Boime and Ashton to Stanton's e a r l i e r work i s discussed i n d e t a i l from p.7 on. For nineteenth and early twentieth sources, see also Anna Klumpke, Rosa Bonheur: Sa Vie. Son  Oeuvre (Paris: Ernest Flammarion, 1909); Eugene de Mirecourt, Rosa Bonheur (Paris: Gustave Havard, 1856); Ren6 Peyrol, Rosa Bonheur (London: n.p., 1889); L. Roger-Miles, Rosa Bonheur. Sa Vie - Son  Oeuvre (Paris: Society d'Edition Artistique, 1900). These w i l l be part of further work on this subject in the future. ' Dore Ashton, Rosa Bonheur. a L i f e and a Legend (New York: Viking Press, 1981). 4 5 Ashton seeks to ret r i e v e Bonheur from the margins of nineteenth century art while making a case f o r her success with a c e r t a i n conservative c i r c l e or audience. She attempts t h i s by elevating Bonheur as a 'woman a r t i s t ' remarkable through supposed personal a t t r i b u t e s such as extreme individualism and independence of s p i r i t . Ashton depends on t h i s characterization to simultaneously set Bonheur apart from her times and to explain her success through, as the author sees i t , force of p e r s o n a l i t y . 6 Also pondering Bonheur's successful a r t i s t i c career within the context of a conservative f i n a n c i a l e l i t e i s an a r t i c l e e n t i t l e d "The Case of Rosa Bonheur: Why Should a Woman Want to be More l i k e a Man?" (Art History. December 1981) by art h i s t o r i a n Albert Boime. Boime compiles selected information larg e l y on a personal l e v e l to produce what he intends to be a composite p o r t r a i t of the a r t i s t . But t h i s time, Bonheur's successful career i s interpreted i n terms of a . 8 psychosexual reading. Boime constructs a psychological i d e n t i t y for Bonheur as an androgyne who, integrating masculine and feminine t r a i t s , subsumes these into her The foreword to Ashton's book, written by photographer Denise Browne Hare, neatly sets up thi s premise. She comments "We would investigate ... most especially how she took advantage of the new options open to her. To be an eccentric and a maverick; to be single-minded and ambitious; to produce a large body of work - these were some of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s no longer limited to the male sex." Ashton, x i i . The underlining in t h i s selection i s mine. 7 Albert Boime, "The Case of Rosa Bonheur: Why Should a Woman Want to be More l i k e a Man?," Art History 4, n.4 (December 1981) 384 - 409. o Boime as well as Ashton places Rosa Bonheur within a constructed identity as an i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c , forceful 'woman a r t i s t 1 who by virtue of thi s personality could overcome every opposition i n her path to success. Attempting to legitimize t h i s constitution by enclosing i t in a quasi-historical context, Boime explains his views on how such an identity brought the a r t i s t success. He claims "Before Rosa Bonheur, a woman's indulgence i n art was generally viewed as a pastime, but she broke through the confining Victorian r e s t r i c t i o n s and excessive sexual polarization to make her love and need for painting a f u l l time occupation." However, Boime's reading of how Rosa Bonheur accomplished t h i s then imparts a further interpretation beyond Ashton's of t h i s a r t i s t ' s personality and i t s separation from social norms. He notes that Bonheur's 'breaking through 1 gendered r e s t r i c t i o n s (see above) "... entailed committing herself to a wholly independent and unconventional way of l i f e . " Attempting to then rationalize Bonheur as more than a woman of her time i n order to be successful, Boime co l l e c t s what he believes to be examples of an androgenous sexuality. Commenting darkly on the a r t i s t ' s ruse of wearing male clothing in public spaces to avoid attack, he says "Bonheur obviously donned the masculine cloak for a more fundamental reason" and labels her longterm relationship with companion Nathalie Micas part of a "butch-femme syndrome." Ibid, 384-386. 6 imagery. Bonheur does t h i s , according to Boime, by expressing an antipathy f o r the human subject and a great love f o r animal l i f e as apart from s o c i a l l y coded gender . . . . Q i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and r o l e s . These two accounts of Rosa Bonheur's career v i s i t a c e r t a i n constructed personality upon the eventual course of her a r t i s t i c recognition. Though both Dore Ashton and Albert Boime purport to u t i l i z e a n a l y t i c a l approaches current i n a r t h i s t o r i c a l practice such as gender study, Marxist c r i t i c a l i t y , and i n the case of Boime, psychoanalysis, both studies are i n a c t u a l i t y conceived i n an a h i s t o r i c a l manner. For example, though Dore Ashton's Rosa Bonheur. a L i f e and a Legend promises to "re-evaluate Bonheur's work within the context of her time" 1 0,few h i s t o r i c a l texts are c i t e d i n the bibliography, i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s of quotations through footnotes (including dates) i s absent, and the wealth of d e t a i l that does occur i s categorized under generalized biographical, s o c i a l , or p o l i t i c a l subject headings. In t h i s way, Ashton removes h i s t o r i c a l s p e c i f i c i t y from her text, and the o v e r a l l structure of her book ine v i t a b l y provides a work that can only be characterized as non-evaluative biography. 1 1 Through a s i m i l a r process, Albert Boime's analysis of Rosa Bonheur's Boime, as part of thi s construction, claims that Rosa Bonheur could not psychologically bear to paint male faces. He conflates t h i s with her production, saying "In sketch after sketch, the human figures appear vacuous alongside sprightly animal counterparts; people are faceless and shadowy, while animals are s o l i d l y modelled and possess wonderfully expressive physiognomies ..." Boime, 396 - 498. Interestingly, on examining the Bonheur print f i l e i n the Bibliotheque Nationale's Cabinet des Estampes, i t became apparent that Rosa Bonheur's brother Auguste executed male faces i n exactly the same manner. This evidence seems to put into dispute Boime's theory, suggesting that the reasons for this particular technical approach by Bonheur might issue from another concern. ™ Ashton, jacket frontispiece. ^ In a review of Ashton's Rosa Bonheur. a L i f e and a Legend, art h i s t o r i a n Eleanor Tufts comments not only on Ashton's lack of h i s t o r i c a l c r i t i c a l i t y but also on the consequences of t h i s . Tufts says "But as attractive as the concept of thi s new biography i s , the finished product i s essentially a photographic essay focusing on the a r t i f a c t s of her [Bonheur's] l i f e ..." Eleanor Tufts, "Review," Women's Art Journal 3, n.1 (Spring/Summer 1982): 52. 7 l i f e and her career i s characterised by h i s active c o n f l a t i o n of the i d e n t i t y he constructs f o r Bonheur (an androgenous one) with her production. Bonheur's success therefore emerges as an e f f e c t of her personality as constituted by Boime. Assessing Rosa Bonheur's production and i t s reception through the perspective of t h e i r f i c t i o n s rather than through h i s t o r i c a l context, both Dore Ashton and Albert Boime s t r i p the a r t i s t ' s i d e n t i t y and her production of t h e i r h i s t o r i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . Though the types of i d e n t i t y Ashton and Boime construct fo r Rosa Bonheur are d i f f e r e n t i n that the former stresses her as a strong and i n d i v i d u a l l y directed woman and the l a t t e r a d d i t i o n a l l y characterises her as an androgenous personality, both versions are to a large extent encoded with the same feature of independence from circumstance. In t h i s manner, both versions are erected by t h e i r authors as heroic ones. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that both Dore Ashton and Albert Boime's works r e l y heavily f o r much of t h e i r information upon an early biography published i n 1910 by writer Theodore Stanton and t i t l e d Reminiscences of Rosa 12 Bonheur. I t i s c l e a r that nonanalytical tendencies noted i n Ashton and Boime*s orientation to t h e i r subject i n large part derive from biases available i n the 1910 publication by Stanton. For example, as Nancy Mowll Mathews has noted i n her review of a r e p r i n t of Stanton's book Reminiscences of  Rosa Bonheur. "... Theodore Stanton treats h i s subject as a great 19th century "hero" (sic.) who gained that status by being an a r t i s t . He was her friend, and composed the Stanton, Reminiscences. "Stanton, Paris correspondent for the Inter-Ocean, was the son of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the pioneer American suffragist ..." Boime, 406, n.4. Both Boime and Ashton's accounts of Rosa Bonheur have frequent references to Stanton's book in their footnotes. 8 biography from h i s own and other's reminiscences, Bonheur's own memoirs and numerous l e t t e r s . He concentrates on 13 Bonheur as a personality ..." Besides informing her readers that t h i s early work viewed Bonheur's production through the dominating notion of personality, Mathews explains that the type of personality Stanton awards Bonheur i s based upon h i s personal views i n addition to those of others rather than upon any h i s t o r i c a l l y based d e f i n i t i o n . Commenting on the d i r e c t i o n Stanton's approach takes, h i s reviewer says that i t "...must i n part, at le a s t , be credited to attitudes i n s t i l l e d i n him by his mother, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Evidence of the strong and widespread women's right s movement of the day surfaces only sporadically i n the a r t h i s t o r i c a l l i t e r a t u r e of the period. But Stanton, author of The Woman Question i n Europe (1885), 14 makes i t an important part of hi s biography." Though Stanton's perception of Rosa Bonheur's so-called independent s p i r i t takes the avenue of the women's r i g h t s ' movement as i t s focus, h i s approach to the l a t t e r i s seemingly without s p e c i f i c h i s t o r i c reference, as i s found to be the case with 15 Ashton and Boime's more recent descriptions. In these works, Rosa Bonheur i s s t i l l assessed within the mythology of the w i l f u l and at times eccentric 'woman a r t i s t ' who tra v e l s the streets of Paris dressed i n men's clothi n g while singlemindedly pursuing her animal models at f a i r s and slaughter houses. Nancy Mowll Mathews, "Review," Women's Art Journal 1, n.1 (Spring/Summer 1980): 67 1 4 Ibid. 1^ In a c r i t i q u e applying just as well to Boime's a r t i c l e as Ashton's book, Eleanor Tufts notes what i s missing from l i t e r a t u r e on Rosa Bonheur to date: "... the task of addressing Bonheur's oeuvre s t i l l remains. Now perhaps another art historian w i l l essay Bonheur's a r t i s t i c output and thereby determine her true position i n the history of ar t . Certainly there i s much more to be said about the oeuvre and impact of an a r t i s t whose painting The Horse Fair - mighty i n both physical s i z e and number of reproductions circulated in Europe and America - was once the most popular picture of i t s century." Tufts, 55. 9 History vs. myth, a new look at success By the 1850's and 1860's, Bonheur was so well known as a painter of r u r a l landscapes that her works were purchased not only by the American i n d u s t r i a l i s t John Rockefeller but also by Great B r i t a i n ' s Queen V i c t o r i a . 1 6 In 1865, Empress Eugenie of France personally presented to Rosa Bonheur the nation's most prestigious o f f i c i a l award, the Cross of the Legion of Honour, i n recognition of what the state saw as her contribution over the years to French culture. Yet up to 1849, Rosa Bonheur had generally been regarded as only a minor though promising painter. A f t e r her f i r s t e ntries to the Salon of 1841 when she was nineteen, Rosa Bonheur l ' exhibited work i n each subsequent annual Salon up to 1849. For the f i r s t few years that she sent paintings to the Salon, she received no c r i t i c a l attention. But by 1845, f i n i s h i n g s i x works for the o f f i c i a l e x h i b i t i o n , Bonheur received her f i r s t acknowledgement from the jury. Her 18 . Plowing Scene received a t h i r d c lass medal. This painting represents a farmer, a small boy, and two horses i n a large empty f i e l d , and the background has j u s t a few trees and a vast expanse of sky. Her r u r a l scene was praised by the l i b e r a l l e f t c r i t i c Theophile Thore, who commented that Bonheur's execution of her subject was superior to that of Brascassat, an established and academically oriented Rosa Bonheur's patrons in the 1850's and 1860's are discussed i n Ashton, 90-95. They revealed through their identity the existence of a wealthy and conservatively oriented international audience for her work. The a r t i s t ' s growing fame in Europe and Great B r i t a i n amongst the t i t l e d and upper class must be partly attributable to the efforts of her dealer Ernest Gambard, who promoted her work after 1852 and the beginning of the Second Empire. Ibid. ^ Ellen M. Thurnau reports in d e t a i l on the works Bonheur entered i n the Salons up to 1848. (M.A. thesis, Duke University, 1981), 15-17. Plowing i s c i t e d by E l l e n Thurnau from Anna Klumpkke, Rosa Bonheur: Sa Vie. Son Oeuvre (Paris: Ernest Flammarion, 1909), 175. Thurnau, i i and 16. 10 a n i m a l i e r . 1 9 At the newly li b e r a t e d Salon of 1848, 2 0Rosa Bonheur*s r u r a l landscape painting Red Oxen at Cantal won a prized gold medal " f i r s t . " 2 1 I t was a few months l a t e r that Rosa Bonheur received a substantial commission of 3,000 francs from the Second Republican government. Between the presentation of the commission on July 11, 1848 and the opening of the Salon of 1849 i n June, Rosa Bonheur produced her large r u r a l landscape painting Plowing i n the  N i v e r n a i s . 2 2 As already noted i n the introduction to t h i s thesis, when her painting was exhibited i n the Salon of 1849, i t was the subject of c r i t i c a l remark or commentary in the Salon reviews. Though the response varied with several writers naming i t as the best painting i n the e x h i b i t i o n while others viewed i t more c r i t i c a l l y , the tenor of the attention received by Bonheur's r u r a l landscape was i n general a p o s i t i v e one. The years of 1848 and 1849 are thus i d e n t i f i e d as a p i v o t a l point i n Rosa Bonheur*s career and mark her change i n status from an a r t i s t i d e n t i f i e d as minor or 'young' to that of a painter of considerable stature insofar as c r i t i c a l attention was concerned. The recognition which Bonheur won i n 1848 and 1849 continued L. Roger-Miles, Rosa Bonheur. Sa Vie - Son Oeuvre (Paris: Soctete d 1Edit ion A r t i s t i q u e , 1900), 42. 20 The newly liberated Salon of 1848 was organized by members of the recently appointed Provisional government i n 1848. Its important feature was that i t had no jury. T.J. Clark describes i t s organization thusly: "For a while after February there was no structure, and the p o l i t i c i a n s improvised with advice from their friends. A painter named Jeanron, a Bonapartist and a revolutionary of sorts, was put i n charge of Museums and Fine Arts ... he organized a Salon - the f i r s t ever without a jury -on 15 March." Clark, The Absolute Bourgeois (London: Thames and Hudson, 1973), 50. The nineteenth century c r i t i c Champfleury involves the Minister of the Interior in his description and t e l l s of the large number of entries to the non-juried Salon: "Le 29 fe v r i e r 1848, Ledru-Rollin, Ministre de I'Interieur, decide que "tous les ouvrages envoyes cette annee seront recus sans exception. Aussi, le Salon qui s'ouvrit le 15 Mars 1848 au Musee National du Louvre ne comptait pas moins de 5,180 nume>os." Champfleury, Le R6alisme. texts choisis et presented par Genevieve et Jean Lacambre (Paris: Hermann, 1973), 153, n.4. 2 1 Ashton, 63. Rosa Bonheur's commission i s dated July 11, 1848 (see page 18). Her rural landscape Plowing  in the Nivernais bears the completion date June 7, 1849 on the lower right corner of the painting, currently hung in the Musee d'Orsay, Paris. 11 into the Second Empire of Louis Napoleon. Rosa Bonheur, daughter of an impoverished painter, 2 3enjoyed such steady patronage a f t e r 1849 that she could purchase a chateau at By near Fontainebleau i n 1860. In order to address the p o t e n t i a l reasons for the enormous response at the Salon of 1849 to Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais. the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l h i s t o r y of 1848 and 1849 requires investigation. The complex p o l i t i c a l dynamics of 1848 - the Revolutionary year - must f i r s t of a l l be examined since they function as a necessary prelude to understanding the circumstances under which Bonheur received her government commission and play a r o l e also i n the c r i t i c ' s eventual response to Bonheur's r u r a l landscape one year l a t e r at the o f f i c i a l e x h i b i t i o n . I t i s important to note that the 1848 Revolution had two phases. A f t e r the i n i t i a l revolution i n February, 1848, which overthrew the monarchy of the "bourgeois" King Louis Philippe, the moderate reform party and the r a d i c a l l e f t were the most v i s i b l e members of the new P r o v i n c i a l Assembly. The moderates wanted democracy, which i n 1848 was defined as universal suffrage for men. On the other hand, Ashton's account of Raimond Bonheur says that "he described himself i n his marriage c e r t i f i c a t e as a c l a s s i c a l 'history painter' ..." who received a "modest l i v i n g " from sale of his work and teaching. He was Rosa Bonheur's only teacher. Ashton, 3 and 115. ^ There are, of course, many h i s t o r i c a l accounts of and perspectives on the revolution of 1848. Karl Marx's well-known Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon (New York: International Publishers, 1964) views February 1848 as a complete victory by the l e f t which i s later overtaken by the formerly ousted right. More recently, historian Roger Price i n The French Second Republic: a Social History (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1972) notes the mixture of ideologies from l e f t to right i n i t i a l l y p articipating i n the Republican action in February 1848. Price continues thi s c r i t i c a l perception by examining the slow movement towards dominance by various strands of the right (as well as the gradual movement from l e f t to right by moderate l e f t ) i n the months of the new Republic between February and June 1848. My account of 1848 i n th i s text follows that given by Price. Other accounts of 1848 noting social history are: Alexis de Tocqueville, Recollections (New York: Meridian Books, 1959); George Duveau, 1848. the Making of a Revolution (New York: Pentheon Books, 1968); Maurice Agulhon, The  Republican Experiment. 1848-1852. trans. Janet Lloyd (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973); Robert W. Lougee, Midcentury Revolution. 1848: Society and Revolution i n France and Germany (London: D.C. Heath, 1972); John M. Merriman, The Agony of the Republic: the Repression of the Left in  Revolutionary France 1848-1851 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978). 12 the r a d i c a l l e f t or s o c i a l democrats campaigned f o r not only suffrage but also s o c i a l democracy. This they defined as equal opportunity for employment and the r i g h t to vote, 25 again f o r males only. Interestingly, the r a d i c a l l e f t f a c t i o n i n government received support from the recently organized a c t i v i s t women's groups i n Paris, which emerged 2 6 a f t e r February 1848. These women's groups had s i m i l a r , s o c i a l democratic goals for themselves, and f e l t that t h e i r p o l i t i c a l objectives would be best served by t h e i r groups' 2 7 v i s i b l e support of the r a d i c a l l e f t . The i n i t i a l dominance of the l e f t and factions supporting the l e f t i n February was not stable throughout 1848. In March and A p r i l , 1848, economic confusion caused by the uncertainty of revolutionary upset had the e f f e c t of making cautious those Parisians holding property or involved i n business ventures. As a r e s u l t , the moderate reform sector gradually moved to the r i g h t , leaving a depreciated r a d i c a l s o c i a l democratic l e f t as the only l e f t f a c tion i n the spring of 1848. Various small insurrections by t h i s r a d i c a l l e f t i n March, A p r i l and May lead up to the infamous 'June Days' i n Paris Immediately before the 'June Days,' the supporters of the l e f t defined t h e i r p o l i t i c a l and social goals by placing "a placard on the barricade at the Porte St. Morceau on June 23, 1848, describing the "democratic and social republic" as "democratic i n that a l l c i t i z e n s are electors ... social i n that a l l c i t i z e n s are permitted to form associations for work." Merriman, 51. ^Newspapers published by the a c t i v i s t women's groups of 1848 and 1849 provide much information on the identity of the women participating i n the p o l i t i c i z a t i o n as well as their goals. "The years after the outbreak of the Revolution of 1848 were unprecedented for the p r o l i f e r a t i o n of women's newspapers of a p o l i t i c a l rather than fashionable type. Most of these twenty papers were p o l i t i c a l l y r a d i c a l , though some were evidently male s a t i r e of the women's movement. The most important of them, La Voix des Femmes. L'Opinion des Femmes. and La Politique des Femmes. were published by women printers and drew link s between women's rights and worker's rights by concentrating on women i n the paid work force. They remain a valuable source for the movement for associations and workers' cooperatives and for the role of Saint-Simonian and Fourierism in the history of the women's movement." One of these papers. La Voix des Femmes. "... was founded by Eugene Niboyet, an experienced journalist from a wealthy, Bonapartist, and Protestant background ... . Amongst i t s contributors were Desiree Gay, Jeanne Deroin, Suzanne Voilquin [ a l l three from the working c l a s s ] , Anais Segalas, Gabrielle Soumet, Adele Esquiros, and Hortense Wild. After the f i r s t issue, 400 women, mainly workers, congregated at Niboyet's home and formed a p o l i t i c a l club ... ." P a t r i c i a H. Hutton, ed. H i s t o r i c a l Dictionary of  the Second French Republic (New York: Greenwood Press, 1968), 1105 and 1128. Clai r e G. Moses, French Feminism i n the Ninetheeth Century (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1984), 128. 13 i n mid-1848. During June 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th, the conservative r i g h t f a c t i o n grouped around the m i l i t a r y forces of General Cavaignac l i t e r a l l y massacred i n the streets of Paris the r a d i c a l l e f t ' s working c l a s s supporters in a show of brute strength which demonstrated the ri g h t ' s . 28 renewed p o l i t i c a l clout at t h i s point i n 1848. Only sixteen days a f t e r the conclusion of the 'June Days' massacre i n Paris, Rosa Bonheur received her substantial commission of 3,000 francs from the Second Republic's Ministry of the I n t e r i o r f o r a r u r a l landscape with animals. 2 9 Through examination of the h i s t o r i c a l circumstances surrounding Rosa Bonheur's commission i n 1848, ce r t a i n assumptions common to Theodore Stanton's 1910 biography along with both Dore Ashton and Albert Boime's recent studies regarding Bonheur's successful patronage are thrown into question. Though with admittedly varying perspectives, a l l three works dwell on Rosa Bonheur's supposed 'independent-mindedness' as a feature of her personality which i n t h e i r studies i s strongly connected to her acq u i s i t i o n of patronage. They base t h e i r construction of Bonheur as an in d i v i d u a l to a large extent on the fac t of Rosa Bonheur's father Raimond having been a member of the s o c i a l Utopian Saint Simonian c u l t i n the 1830's. They c i t e the l a t t e r ' s ideals of sexual equality, and Rosa Bonheur's early exposure to these ideals through her father as the General Cavaignac as leader of the army i n June 1848 " ... crushed a popular uprising: s i x thousand were k i l l e d and fourteen thousand insurgents were put into prison." From Bouret, 142. On the question of which class of c i t i z e n s were grouped i n the massacre, Roger Price says "... republican strength was based on lower middle class and artisan support." Price, 138. After the insurrection, Cavaignac s o l i d i f i e d his p o l i t i c a l position: "... on the 28th of June ... the Assembly cheered Cavaignac, who 'had deserved well of his country,' and placed the executive i n his hands with the t i t l e and powers of President of the Council and the right to choose his own Ministers, the la t t e r to be responsible to the Assembly." In Ren6 Arnaud, The Second Republic and Napoleon I I I , trans. E.F. Buckley (London: William Heinemann, 1930), 30. Rosa Bonheur's l e t t e r of commission was dated July 11, 1848 (Fi g . 1). 14 cause f o r what they claim to be the a r t i s t ' s 'independent' 30 behaviour. This presumed stance by Bonheur i s co i n c i d e n t a l l y , almost magically, attached to the attainment of patronage. For example, even though Mathews as the reviewer of Stanton's r e p r i n t promises c r i t i c a l i t y early i n her a r t i c l e when she notes the strong tendency towards heroization by Stanton (and thus Ashton and Boime), she too eventually i s enthralled by the preceding notion to the extent of p r o s e l y t i z i n g i n i t s favour. She r e i t e r a t e s the above myth u n c r i t i c a l l y i n process of review, saying "Raymond Bonheur, the a r t i s t ' s father, ... was active i n the San Simonist movement i n Paris i n the 1830's and involved his whole family. The Saint Simonians, an early s o c i a l i s t group, held b e l i e f s i n the equality of men and women that p a r a l l e l e d those of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the American women's ri g h t s movement. Rosa Bonheur cherished those ideas 31 throughout her l i f e , and they contributed to her success." The r e d u c t i v i s t tendency of t h i s rendering of Rosa Bonheur's a r t i s t i c success rings hollow when i t s substance i s examined against the p a r t i c u l a r moment of 1848. This l a t t e r year i s , as mentioned i n the review of Rosa Bonheur's career, the date of her gold medal at the Salon, of her large commission from the Ministry of the I n t e r i o r , and, through these awards, of the path to her f i r s t great c r i t i c a l success i n 1849. In regard to t h i s success one might l o g i c a l l y f i r s t of a l l question i f Rosa Bonheur's Without recognition of s p e c i f i c circumstances, Boime comments that "In view of the v i t a l i t y of the androgenous image, i t i s not surprising to find that the leading French feminists l i k e Tristan, Sand and Bonheur developed out of the Saint-Simonist milieu and assimilated the image i n their i n t e l l e c t u a l system and/or l i f e - s t y l e . " Boime, 403. While stating that "Saint-Simonism advocated the emancipation of women and the overcoming of tra d i t i o n a l sex roles," Boime works to further his formulation of Saint Simonism d i r e c t l y affecting Rosa Bonheur's l i f e by paradoxically emphasizing her  father's dominant role in this matter: "The declaration of thi s influence on Bonheur could seem to make her father the key to understanding her personality." Ibid, 387. Mathews, 67. 15 father, Raimond, because of his Saint Simonist s o c i a l utopianism, enjoyed a p r i v i l e g e d connection to the Second Republican s o c i a l democratic government i n 1848. Dore Ashton's study appears to favour t h i s reading of events, stat i n g that Raimond Bonheur was a member of the Saint Simonian c u l t at Menilmontant i n 1830 and a Republican 32 . sympathizer i n 1848. She i d e n t i f i e s Rosa Bonheur as holding a s i m i l a r p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n i n support of the l e f t and continues t h i s narrative by revealing the a r t i s t ultimately gaining patronage from the government, thus implying some unstated p o l i t i c a l bond between the Bonheurs 33 and the Republican government . However, Raimond Bonheur's Republicanism appears to have been of a rather private nature since no h i s t o r i c a l fact e x i s t s to date to substantiate his contact with members of the r a d i c a l l e f t i n power i n 1848 and 1849, nor his execution of p o l i t i c a l deeds which may have brought him to t h e i r attention. Dore Ashton's characterization of Rosa Bonheur as a recognized l e f t sympathizer through the influence of her father Raimond, and Ashton's use of t h i s connection as a reason for Rosa Bonheur's patronage by the Second Republican government . . . 34 i n 1848 thus remains i n the realm of unfounded conjecture. The second constructed implication of Rosa Bonheur's inadvertent projection as an 'independent-minded' woman i s that through the accretion of Saint Simonian precepts at an "'Ashton, 60 - 73. 3 3 Boime sees Rosa Bonheur's "mature art and p o l i t i c a l views" as of a "conservative hue" in contrast to Ashton's declarations of Bonheur's "Republicanism". Boime, 386. 3 4 In 1848, after the 'June Days' and the s h i f t of governmental power to the right, personal connections [should indeed the Bonheurs have had any] with the l e f t as a cause for patronage become even more a matter of speculation. Ledru-Rollin had been dismissed as Minister of the Interior by the time of July 11, the date of Bonheur's commission, however he s t i l l argued for the 'right to work' clause i n the Constitution at the Assembly. The painter Jeanron s t i l l remained as Director of Museums; his "... republican commitments had inspired a series of s o c i a l l y engaged images during the 1830s and 1840s." Neil Mcwilliam, "Art, Labour and Mass Democracy: Debates on the Status of the A r t i s t i n France around 1848," Art History 11. No. 1 (March 1988): 69. 16 early age, she thereby became a woman a c t i v i s t . This process i s seen by Bonheur's narrators as being responsible f o r her success. This assumption can be examined f o r h i s t o r i c a l v e r i f i c a t i o n by locating i t i n the s p e c i f i c context of 1848. Early San Simonism, dating from the decades of the 1830's and 1840's - the period when Raimond Bonheur was so intimately involved with the c u l t -emphasized equality for women as part of i t s s o c i a l Utopian philosophy, however, i t s image of women's nature was d i f f e r e n t i n practi c e . The San Simonians enmeshed 'woman' i n a stereotypical construction of the feminine, one j u s t as 35 r e s t r i c t i n g as that held by the bourgeois c l a s s . The San Simonians c l a s s i f i e d women as emotional and sensual rather 3 6 than r a t i o n a l beings. Through t h i s characterization, they lim i t e d women's potential p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n public l i f e j u s t as much as the bourgeois class d i d with t h e i r concept of a passive, i d e a l femininity and i t s l o c a l i z a t i o n to the domestic sphere. The San Simonians' early model of the feminine changed to a d i f f e r e n t i d e n t i t y for women by 1848. The February 1848 Revolution and the s o c i a l disruption endemic to i t allowed c e r t a i n s h i f t s i n i d e n t i t y f o r the former San Simonists from the 1830's and 1840's as well as other women interested i n s o c i a l democratic goals. P o l i t i c i z e d i n groups formed on the impetus of revolutionary turmoil, the a c t i v i s t women i n 1848 promoted an i n t e l l e c t u a l l y based image of women i n contrast to the e a r l i e r emotionally and sensually defined model. The J 3Nead, 12-47. ^ 6Margaret Ueitz provides a useful portrait of the relations between Saint-Simonian men and women in the 1830's. "Le Pere Enfant in (1796-1864) elaborated a new r e l i g i o n based upon the s o c i a l i s t Utopian views promulgated by the social philosopher Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825) and Charles Fourier (1777-1832) ... In the early 1830's, women from the bourgeoisie and working classes were attracted to the services of the charismatic leader. Their enthusiasm was short-lived. When the women saw that they were once again being exploited, disillusionment set i n . This was predictable given the contradictions inherent i n the movement. Women's freedom was linked to sexual freedom ... The women of these groups - including Claire Bazard, Eugenie Niboyet and Suzanne voilq u i n wanted equality ... Weitz, Femmes: Recent Writings on French Women (Boston, Mass.: G.K. H a l l , 1985), 6. 17 a c t i v i s t groups v i s u a l i z e d women functioning p a c i f i c a l l y i n 37 society as r a t i o n a l teachers of moral behaviour. This b r i e f study of the differences between San Simonist notions of sexual equality i n the 1830's and 1840's, and those of the p o l i t i c i z e d women's groups i n the revolutionary year of 1848 c l a r i f i e s the lack of homogeneity i n philosophical 38 goals between these dates. Most importantly, i t throws into question the assumption that Rosa Bonheur*s success had anything to do with a status as a woman a c t i v i s t , motivated by Saint Simonian philosophy on gender rel a t i o n s h i p s from the 1830's. I t can be seen from t h i s discussion that neither the conf l a t i o n of a constructed 'heroic' personality nor, as investigated previously, the assumption of personal p o l i t i c a l connections with the a c q u i s i t i o n of a r t i s t i c patronage are upon h i s t o r i c a l investigation found to be a f r u i t f u l or r e l i a b l e means of accounting f o r Rosa Bonheur's substantial commission i n 1848 or the large c r i t i c a l response to her r u r a l landscape Plowing i n the Nivernais at the Salon of 1849. The focus i n the remainder of t h i s and subsequent chapters w i l l be on a h i s t o r i c a l examination of Rosa Bonheur's success at the Salon of 1849 i n r e l a t i o n to such mediating factors as the ar t market, landscape This attitude i s displayed i n the a c t i v i s t women's newspapers of 1848, such as L'Opinion des  Femmes. "The chief editor of this paper was Jeanne Deroin, a seamstress and then teacher, and among the contributors were Olinde Rodrigues and Hortense Wild, two wealthy Saint-Simonians who sustained the paper, Desiree Gay and Pauline Roland ... . It called for the elimination of a l l privileges of sex, race, b i r t h , caste, and wealth, for the right to work and to subsistence, and for equal educational and job opportunities for women. However, despite i t s h o s t i l i t y toward Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, the paper accepted a certain stereotype of women as embodying ju s t i c e i n a p a c i f i c and nurturing role." In La Voix des Femmes. founded by Eugenie Niboyet of a wealthy, Bonapartist family, "the paper's concerns were very wide ranging, but tensions emerged over Niboyet's somewhat didactic tone, the primacy of education or social change, women's suffrage, and in par t i c u l a r Niboyet's conservative stance over social c o n f l i c t and direct action." Hutton, 764 and 1105. It must be pointed out that although the p r o f i l e of women's equality changed between the 1830's, 1840's and 1848, many of the women involved were the same figures throughout these years, such as Jeanne Deroin, Suzanne Voilquin, and Pauline Roland. 18 painting, and the issue of gender i n 1848 and 1849. Tha commission, the a r t market, landscape p a i n t i n g By July 1848, the date of the Second Republic's large commission to Rosa Bonheur, Salon c r i t i c s had p u b l i c a l l y recorded i n newspaper reviews Bonheur's a c t i v i t y and • 3 9 (according to one c r i t i c at least) her a r t i s t i c promise. Add i t i o n a l l y , the a r t i s t ' s constant p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the Salons since 1840 was on record i n the published l i v r e t s or Salon catalogues, with each of her submitted works l i s t e d by t i t l e . The b r i e f survey of Rosa Bonheur's career as an a r t i s t up to the date of her commission i n July 1848 indicates that her s t e a d i l y increasing reputation as an a r t i s t lay i n the context of r u r a l landscape p a i n t i n g . 4 0 I t was indeed t h i s p a r t i c u l a r subject material that the government requested of Bonheur i n t h e i r commission. Informal notice of the commission, announced within the Ministry of the I n t e r i o r on a memorandum dated J u l y 2, 1848, contained t h i s s t i p u l a t i o n . 4 1 The o f f i c i a l l e t t e r of award sent to Bonheur, dated July 11, 1848, states the same subject i n a more formal fashion: Mademoiselle, j ' a i l'honneur de vous annoncer que par arret en date du 2me ce mois l e Ministre de 1'Interieur a bien voulu nous charger d'executer par l e compte de nos Department et ... une ... de t r o i s m i l l e francs, un tableau representant: des  animaux dans un paturaqe. Le Ministre aime a penser, Mademoiselle, que vous apportez a 1'execution de ce t r a v a i l tous l e s soins ... pour j u s t i f i e r l a confiance d'ont nous eter l ' o b j e t . See pp. 9-10 for an example of c r i t i c a l praise before 1848 (Thorn's review of the Salon of 1845). Not only the l i s t s of entries in the Salon l i v r e t s but also the works awarded medals publicly indicated Rosa Bonheur's long commitment to the rural landscape form. Thurnau, 15-17. 41 21 Paris, Archive National. Carton F 16. 19 Salut ... . 4 2 The Ministry's l e t t e r of commission and i t s request for a 'landscape with animals' from Bonheur has a context not only within the hist o r y of her career but within that of the category of landscape painting. I t i s against t h i s that her eventual product of Plowing i n the Nivernais must be scru t i n i z e d i n 1848 and 1849. Patterns of patronage during the Second Republic d i f f e r e d from those evident during the previous monarchy of Louis Philippe (1830-1848), when hist o r y painting had always 43 been the most highly regarded category. At the time of the Second Republic's inception i n February and March 1848, the d i r e c t i o n of patronage was i n i t i a l l y unclear. The rela t i o n s h i p between imagery and ideology had s h i f t e d when the needs of a p o l i t i c a l l y unsettled republic took over from those of a monarchy and the established a r t market of Louis Philippe's days had collapsed because of the r e s u l t i n g p o l i t i c a l and economic chaos. The demise of h i s t o r y painting from i t s p r i v i l e g e d status under Louis Philippe l e f t room for the consideration and support of other formerly less prominent categories such as landscape and genre painting. From among the 5,180 works submitted to the Second Republic's newly proclaimed 'open' Salon i n February 1848, prizes went to 36 genre scenes, 43 landscape 44 paintings, and 15 history paintings. Since the award H ' Ibid. See Fig. 1. 43 Providing a description of patronage and painting under the reign of Louis Philippe i s Michael J. Marrinan's Ph. D. dissertation. Painting P o l i t i c s for Louis-Philippe: Issues and Instruments of  Propaganda in French O f f i c i a l Art. 1830-1848 (Ann Arbor, Mich.: U-M-I, 1988). However, the review by Jon Whiteby of Michael Marrinan's subsequent book by the same t i t l e [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988] gives the following c r i t i q u e : "the scope of the subjects Marrinan discusses - events i n French history from 1789 to 1839 which were painted or exhibited in the July Monarchy, mostly by order of the king - i s more res t r i c t e d than the t i t l e of the book implies ... ." i n Oxford Art Journal 12, n.1 (1989):57. Clark, 183-186. Ashton, 64. 20 res u l t s by category are dependent upon a c l e a r accounting of what was submitted to determine t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e i n r e l a t i o n to category, the conclusion cannot be d e f i n i t e l y drawn that the Second Republican government encouraged patronage i n the d i r e c t i o n of genre and landscape painting, but they can perhaps be taken as an i n d i c a t i o n of producers' and patrons' r e c i p r o c a l i n t e r e s t i n these forms. Underlying the market of February 1848 was the Second Republic's emphasis on the i n d i v i d u a l as a p o l i t i c a l i d e a l of l i b e r a l bourgeois c u l t u r e . 4 5 Art hi s t o r i a n s Francis Haskell, Frances Suzman Jowell, and Stanley Meltzoff have c i t e d t h i s i d e a l and have argued an i d e o l o g i c a l connection between such an id e a l and landscape as a cat e g o r y . 4 6 In h i s Rediscoveries i n Art (1976), Haskell makes the observation that r e j e c t i o n of the dictates of the Academy i n mid-century was often read as the sign of a new individualism 47 appropriate to non-monarchic eras. A d d i t i o n a l l y , the 48 49 studies by Frances Suzman Jowell and Stanley Meltzoff examine a re-appraisal i n the l a t e 1840's of Dutch seventeenth century landscape and genre paintings. They have shown that these re-appraisals emphasized landscape and genre subjects of the Dutch seventeenth century painters as a product of Dutch bourgeois Republicanism, and that these H 3 McUilliam, 64-87. 46 Francis Haskell, Rediscoveries in Art (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1976); Frances Suzman Jowell "Thor6-Burger and the Revival of Franz Hals," Art B u l l e t i n 16, n.1 (March 1974): 101-117; Stanley Meltzoff, "The Revival of the LeNains," Art B u l l e t i n . 24 (September 1942): 259-286. 4 7 Haskell, 86-87. 4 8 Jowell, 101-117. Meltzoff, 259-286. 21 subjects were therefore linked to modern nineteenth century l i b e r a l i s m . This previously argued connection of the landscape category with Second Republican emphasis on the i n d i v i d u a l as a p o l i t i c a l i d e a l of l i b e r a l bourgeois culture i n February 1848 can be suggested as accounting f o r l i b e r a l l e f t c r i t i c s ' praise of the landscape at t h i s date. The Barbizon School a r t i s t s whose work had received peripheral support from Salon j u r i e s during Louis Philippe's reign were now p a r t i c u l a r l y patronized by the Second Republic. For example, t h i s i s e s p e c i a l l y true i n the case of painter Theodore Rousseau, whose Barbizon landscapes were rejected 50 i n pre-Republican years. The new Republic patronized the landscapes of the Barbizon p a i n t e r s 5 1 f o r a number of reasons. F i r s t , the Barbizons' non-Academic orient a t i o n and t h e i r s i t i n g of landscape i n s p e c i f i c i d e n t i f i a b l e national locales such as the Forest of Fontainebleau and the Barbizon area was i n contrast to t r a d i t i o n a l Academic landscapes with . • 52 t h e i r universalized and c l a s s i c i z i n g features. In addition to t h i s , i n terms of c r i t i c a l reception i n the 1840's, Barbizon landscape was seen as the response of a s p e c i f i c i n d i v i d u a l , the a r t i s t , to a p a r t i c u l a r scene at a Robert L. Herbert makes the point that, though excluded from o f f i c i a l exhibition by the j u r i e s , Rousseau's work nonetheless contributed to landscape form, saying "Rousseau was excluded from the Salon in the f o r t i e s , but he continued to be the focus of the developments i n landcape." Herbert, Barbizon  Revisited (San Francisco, C a l i f . : Palace of the Legion of Honour, 1962), 27. In 1848, "Ledru-RolI in commissioned for the State a painting by Rousseau for a fee of 4,000 francs (Looking out from the Forest of Fontainbleu at Sunset) ... and also a picture from Dupre for the same fee. Charles Blanc, the new director of the Beaux Arts, approved the decision ... ." Jean Bouret, The Barbizon School and Nineteenth Century French Lancscape Painting (London: Thames and Hudson, 1973), 141-142. 52 Albert Boime provides a thorough investigation of "The Academic Lanscape: Traditional Procedure" in The Academy and French Painting in the Nineteenth Century (London: Phaidon, 1970), 133-165. I also refer again to Haskell, 86-87, on 'rejection of the dictates of the Academy in mid-century being often read as the sign of a new individualism appropriate to non-monarchic eras' (see p.20). 22 53 p a r t i c u l a r moment. This emphasis on the i n d i v i d u a l ' s part i n the so-called 'creative process' and on the Barbizon landscape as r e j e c t i n g a learned and authoritarian i d e a l was read by one c r i t i c at l e a s t as a sign of new democratic aspirations of the modern age. The republican c r i t i c Theophile Thore a r t i c u l a t e d Barbizon landscapes i n these terms i n h i s Salon c r i t i c i s m of 1844 e n t i t l e d "An Open Letter to Theodore Rousseau." 5 4 The foregoing discussion provides not only a p o l i t i c a l but also a c r i t i c a l context for Rosa Bonheur's commission i n 1848 to some extent suggesting why the new Second Republican government should be interested i n acquiring landscape and genre paintings. These had the potential to be read as signs of a democratic republic, of a non-monarchical state. Beyond t h i s , s p e c i f i c investigation of the h i s t o r i c a l circumstances of Plowing i n the Nivernais. which ine v i t a b l y involves discussion of the painting's p a r t i c u l a r l o c a l e of Nivernais, a reading of the painting i n l i g h t of t h i s information, and an analysis of c r i t i c a l discourse surrounding the painting's reception at the Salon of 1849, supplies a wide and more h i s t o r i c a l l y relevant means of examination than do imposed myths of i n d i v i d u a l personality. Maureen P. Ryan, Peasant Painting and i t s C r i t i c i s m i n France 1875-1885: Themes and Debates. Ph.D. dissertation (Chicago: University of Chicago, November 1987), 76-78. 3*Theophile Thore. Salons de 1844. 1845. 1846. 1847. 1848. avec un preface par W. Burger (Paris: 1848). CHAPTER TWO NIVERNAIS: SIGNIFICANCE OF LOCALE AND MEANS OF REPRESENTATION Rosa Bonheur's r u r a l landscape Plowing i n the Nivernais was begun a f t e r the 'June Days' i n 1848 and painted with the expectation of exhibiting i t i n the Salon of 1849 f o r that year's audience i n Paris. Through the t i t l e Plowing i n the  Nivernais and also the v i s u a l image al l u d i n g to oxen c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y bred i n and associated with N i v e r n a i s , 5 5 Rosa Bonheur p a r t i c u l a r i z e d her landscape to a s p e c i f i c r u r a l l o c a l e . The painting was based upon studies executed 5 6 . . i n Nivernais. A f t e r she received her commission, she responded to the i n v i t a t i o n by her father's f r i e n d , the sculptor J u s t i n Mathieu, to v i s i t h i s house located i n 5 7 Nivernais so that she could study from nature. Bonheur's choice of the l o c a l i t y of Nivernais can then be appreciated as being p a r t l y due to the matter of convenience. I t can also be recognized, though, as a statement of s p e c i f i c i n t e r e s t . Her gold medal winning ' f i r s t ' i n the Salon of 1848 indicated a desire to name a p a r t i c u l a r national l o c a l e through i t s t i t l e also, i . e . , Red Oxen of Cantal. Since Bonheur at the Salon of 1849 entered a painting depicting In support of thi s point, Albert Boime states that "the Nivernais region was not p a r t i c u l a r l y f e r t i l e , but i t s animal husbandry was well known throughout France. The breed of the Nivernais-Charollaise cow and the oxen of Morven enjoyed a great reputation ... ." Boime, 391. 5 6 Ashton, 64. The writer additionally makes the following possibly s i g n i f i c a n t point about Bonheur's choice of Nivernais as a s i t e pertaining to nature but does not provide further d e t a i l or document i t s source so i t can be v e r i f i e d . Ashton says "she wanted to base her commission painting on nature ... ." Ibid. 5 7 Ibid. 23 24 another s p e c i f i c r u r a l locale, that of Nivernais, which aroused a widespread response amongst i t s audience, i t i s worthwhile discussing what Nivernais was i n 1848 and 1849. The l o c a l e of Nivernais Nivernais commanded a large central portion of France and had a population spread between towns of various sizes and farms belonging to the r u r a l countryside. Though i n 1848 Nivernais did not yet have a railway, i t had many transportation routes enabling communication both within the d i s t r i c t as well as with Paris. On an economic l e v e l , Nivernais had d e f i n i t e t i e s with Paris and i t s wealthy bourgeois c l a s s . Though not developed to the same extent as the North, i t had some i n d u s t r i a l development i n forestry and mining. In a detailed description of " l a grande industrie metallurgique a Fourchambault et a Imphy," the l a t t e r being two important i n d u s t r i a l towns i n the Nevers arrondissement, i t i s important to note that the f i n a n c i a l resources for t h i s key development i n Nivernais' economy came from outside the d i s t r i c t . A study of the Fourchamboult s t e e l industry's h i s t o r y comments to t h i s e f f e c t that: II y a l a un developpement remarguables, mais on ne peut s'empecher de noter q u ' i l est l e f a i t , exclusivement, d ' i n i t i a t i v e s et de capitaux exterieurs a l a region nivernaise. L'Etat ... ou des c a p i t a l i s t e s d'origine etrangere a l a Nievre ... developpent une grande industrie, alors essen^iellement fondee sur l e s resources du sous-sol . Given Par i s i a n i n d u s t r i a l i s t s ' investments i n Nivernais, i t seems reasonable to speculate that Paris would have been N. Due Ios, Annual re de la Nievre. pour 1848 (Nevers: I.M. Fay, imprimeur de la prefecture, 1849), 81. e g Jean-Bernard Charrier et Jean-Pierre Harris, Histoire de Nevers v o l . 2 (Paris: Horvath, 1984), 265. 25 extremely aware of Nivernais and attentive to any suggestion of i n s t a b i l i t y . The d i s t r i c t had a core of l e f t p o l i t i c a l opinion feeding various classes of society under the wealthy bourgeoisie but t h i s p o t e n t i a l l y r a d i c a l voice was kept firmly c ontrolled through domination by the many upper class members of Nivernais* government. 6 0 These representatives from Nivernais 1 e l i t e were also the l o c a l d i r e c t o r s f o r industry, business, and banking. 6 1 A f t e r February 1848, the time of the Revolution, the change i n Nivernais* government was not a dramatic one. The new government i n t h i s region was at the most a l i b e r a l one in tendency. Though not h o s t i l e to s o c i a l progress, Nivernais* government demanded that t h i s be implemented i n an atmosphere of order and l e g a l i t y , not i n one of violence. It s t i l l held notions of paternalism to which c l a s s struggle was a contradictory concept. This was evident i n one of the Nivernais government's f i r s t acts of February 28th, 1848. It voted for 1500 francs so a strong National Guard could be 62 formed to 'carry out the wishes of the people.' What t h i s a c t ually assured was the existence of a government l e g i s l a t e d force to be the guardian of order. Intent upon manifesting sympathy to whatever government was dominant i n Paris and also upon maintaining the appearance of order, The fate of the various presses in Nivernais i l l u s t r a t e t h i s point nicely. The right leaning L'Echo de la Nievre established in 1830 reflected the opinion of Louis Philippe's government. During 1848, i t was renamed the Journal de la Nievre and sustained i t s publication throughout Republican years. During the sensitive post June Days in 1848, L'Union Republicaine. established in 1846 as the organ of •I'opposition constitutionelle' published i t s last number on July 6, 1848. The l e f t leaning L'Avenir du Peuple which had begun publication A p r i l 1 suspended this on July 16, 1848. A newspaper formed March 13, 1848, named Le Sentinelle had as i t s editor-in-chief a Parisian journalist Ulysse Pic, and his press reflected the s o c i a l i s t conceptions of Louis Blanc. Judged to be the instigator of 'troubles' on A p r i l 17 and 18 at Nevers, Pic was arrested and forced to leave immediately., This, presumably, was the end of the radical l e f t Le Sentinelle. Duclos, 16-17. ^ For example, ranking t h i r d i n the 1848 elections was a wealthy member of the Nivernais bourgeoisie named E. Martin. His personal fortune as a merchant and indust r i a l director was estimated at 3 m i l l i o n francs. Charrier and Harris, 265. La Societe Academique du Nevers, Memoires: La Revolution de 1848 a Nevers (1948), 18. 26 Nivernais' officialdom could signal the conditions for economic health to i n d u s t r i a l i s t s i n Paris. Publications by the Nivernais government such as the o f f i c i a l Almanach tended to emphasize a p o r t r a i t of a well-functioning bureaucracy and to minimize description of what they termed 63 'troubles.' On March 24, 1848, the Nivernais departmental almanac notes there occurred "troubles a Bazoches", and 64 q u i e t l y leaves the extent of the insurrection unstated. But i t i s more c l e a r l y and f u l l y described i n a private and o f f i c i a l " l e t t r e du procureur general de Bourges au ministre 65 de l a J u s t i c e 27 mars 1848." This account outlines i n d e t a i l the action of a horde of 800 peasants from the Communes de Metz-le-Comte et Teigny (Nievre) and Fontenay (Yonne), who demanded the return of grazing space from M. de Vibraye at h i s chateau at Bazoches. This event occurred shortly a f t e r the February uprising i n Paris with i t s promise of Republicanism, so, though one could not describe the event at Bazoches as the r e s u l t of an organised p o l i t i c i z a t i o n on the part of the peasants, i t was very l i k e l y stimulated by Republican activism sweeping France following February 1848. Accelerated p o l i t i c i z a t i o n of various segments of Nivernais' peasantry accompanied by t h e i r open defiance, as i n the early example of March 24, 1848, resulted i n Nivernais soon becoming known a f t e r the huge Bazoches The Almanac in 1848 has this to say about 'troubles' (a small warning note to the rebellious): "Troubles a Nevers, arrestation du citoyen Ulysse P i c . II est force de qu i t t e r Nevers." This entry from A p r i l 17th i s minute in comparison to the usual descriptions of the monthly c y c l i c , t r a d i t i o n a l farmwork ( i . e . "Octobre-continuer a labourer les terres arables ...) or the pages long, impressive descriptions of a f u l l bureaucracy for each arondissement i n Nivernais. ^ D u c l o s , 130. Albert Soboul, Documents: les Troubles Agraires de 1848 (Paris: R.F., 1948), 11-12. 27 insurrection as an extremely active r a d i c a l l e f t d i s t r i c t . 6 6 The growing p o l i t i c a l consciousness of many peasants i n Nivernais through the years a f t e r 1848 culminated i n a large planned uprising against Louis Napoleon's coup d'etat i n 1851. 6 7 From the previous discussion, i t i s c l e a r that Nivernais as a r u r a l landscape i n 1848 and 1849 contained an inflammatory mixture of r a d i c a l and conservative forces motivated i n t h e i r actions by varying r u r a l , urban and class i n t e r e s t s . Nivernais as part of the countryside would be part of the regional areas sought out by the urban l e f t and defended by urban and r u r a l r i g h t a f t e r Paris as a battleground for p o l i t i c a l struggle had been exhausted by the 'June Days' of 1848. The consequences of the 'June Days' i n r e l a t i o n to the growing s i g n i f i c a n c e of the countryside i s expressed i n an important observation by T.J. Clark on t h i s point: The workers of Paris were defeated and silenced: repression of the press and clubs began. Paris was a l o s t cause: what mattered now were the provinces, the peasants who had voted i n A p r i l as t h e i r masters had t o l d them, and had come to Paris i n June to defend t h e i r masters' Republic. So p o l i t i c s had changed ground, the propagandists and organisers l e f t for the countryside, and the b a t t l e for peasant allegiance began. Ted W. Margadant has the following point to make about the growing peasant movement between 1848 and the coup d'etat in 1851. "Hontagnard secret societies had been implanted before the coup d'etat in all the districts where large numbers of peasants and village artisans participated in the insurrection ... . Montagnard leaders and militants organized every armed mobilization that involved the convergence of substantial rural contingents on urban centres." Margadant, French Peasants in  Revolt (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1970), 35. ^ 7 Nivernais was one of the areas most heavily involved in the resistance to the coup d'etat in 1851, the latter action, according to Ted w. Margadant, generating " ... the largest provincial uprising in central France." In Nivernais, there were over 1,000 men involved in armed rebellion with a medium of 4,000 insurgents. Margadant, 8-11. Clark, 14. 28 Nivernais as a country d i s t r i c t , as a r u r a l landscape, would seem to be an area of sign i f i c a n c e to Paris because of i t s r e l a t i v e proximity and i t s i n d u s t r i a l connections as well as i t s p l e n t i f u l a g r i c u l t u r a l produce from large scale farms. The previously noted peasant uprisings i n Nivernais along with the peasants' gradually increased p o l i t i c i z a t i o n throughout 1848 and 1849 no doubt would have interested the Paris e l i t e which eyed the safety of i t s investments while the urban r i g h t and l e f t engaged i n a propaganda war f o r p o l i t i c a l supremacy i n the countryside. The le s s wealthy i n Paris would have been concerned too; they feared a 'red t i d e ' of anarchic peasants suddenly swarming the c i t y and 69 overtaking i t s government. I t i s important to note that the presence of the urban l e f t as propagandists i n r u r a l regions did not mean that the l a t t e r necessarily wanted the peasantry to independently revolutionize i n 1848 and 1849. Judged to be outside of classed society i n t h e i r proximity to 'nature', the peasantry's s t a b i l i t y was an anxiety to 7 0 both urban r i g h t and l e f t . Many members of the l e f t had philosophical roots i n San Simonism of the 1830*s and 7 1 1840's. The c u l t espoused s o c i a l democracy but founded Thomas R. Forstenzer points out that many historians dismissed Parisian anxiety over provincial peasant movement as a false phobia. He cit e s Charles Seignobos to th i s effect '"Red belts, t i e s or caps transformed themselves into r a l l y i n g signals; a scuffle with a policeman in a cabaret became a rebellion against the Police.'" (Seignobos, La Revolution de 1848 (Paris: 1921),157.) But Forstenzer suggests the danger may have been r e a l , reasoning thusly: "... in the three days following the coup d'etat, thousands of armed and organized Frenchman rose in rebellion against Louis Napoleon Bonaparte in many places throughout France. This fact suggests the obvious co r o l l a r y that "subversive a c t i v i t i e s " had been going on unimpeded by the vigor and vigilance of the police authorities. In other words, perhaps the prefects and prosecutors were not exaggerating their problems i n suppressing the l e f t : perhaps, i n fact, the police repression carried out under the Second Republic was not successful enough to s a t i s f y the police authorities themselves. These are points that not any other historian of the Second Republic has made." i n Appendix 2, 'The Standard Interpretation: Social Fear after 1849 as a Hoax.' Thomas R. Forstenzer, French Provincial Police and the Fa l l of the Second Republic (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981), 278-281. 7 0 C i t i n g a somewhat later event in 1851, Ted. U. Margadant draws attention to bourgeois constitutions of the peasantry as more akin to animals i n their 'savagery' of response. "This mob scene at Clamecy seemed to confirm upper class fears of popular violence, and assault on gendarmes, which occurred in several other towns as well, came to symbolize popular savagery i n the eyes of Bonapartist o f f i c i a l s . Yet such outbursts...were exceptional...." Margadant, 265. For example, the Provisional government of 1848's Minister of the Interior, Ledru-Rollin. 29 72 these i d e a s on the p r i n c i p l e o f c o n s t r u c t i v e l a b o u r . P r o t e s t by the peasantry i n s t e a d o f acceptance o f i t s circumstances c o u l d o n l y be i n t e r p r e t e d by the l e f t as w e l l 73 as the r i g h t as p o l i t i c a l anarchy. The image and the r u r a l myth G e n e r a l l y speaking, the s u b j e c t o f Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the N i v e r n a i s i s t h a t of p e a c e f u l , c o n s t r u c t i v e l a b o u r i n the c o u n t r y s i d e . The image p o r t r a y s a l a r g e team of powerful oxen plowing a f i e l d i n the r u r a l area o f 74 N i v e r n a i s . The c o m p o s i t i o n a l focus i s on the oxen r a t h e r than t h e i r accompanying d r i v e r s , who f o l l o w behind the team. The l a b o u r i n g oxen p u l l t h e i r plow i n a d i a g o n a l l i n e c u t t i n g a c r o s s the f i e l d o r p i c t u r e plane from the l e f t s i d e t o the r i g h t . The scene i s p a i n t e d i n b r i g h t , r i c h c o l o u r s u g g e s t i n g a l a t e summer o r e a r l y f a l l p l a n t i n g as d e s c r i b e d 75 i n the Almanac f o r N i v e r n a i s . In t h i s p a i n t i n g , both Rosa Bonheur's method o f working and her mode o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i n many r e s p e c t s bear r e f e r e n c e t o academic landscape 7 6 p a i n t i n g . For example, Bonheur made p r e p a r a t o r y outdoor sketches i n N i v e r n a i s i n the l a t e summer and autumn of 1848, then r e t u r n e d t o her s t u d i o i n P a r i s t o m e t i c u l o u s l y prepare and complete her f i n a l canvas over the s p r i n g o f 1849. Her completed canvas d i s p l a y s f o r much o f i t s expanse the The eventual interpretation of these principles had diverse outcomes according to individual. The Pereirs were apologists for and practitioners of French capitalism, whilst their cousin Olinde Rodrigues continued to work on behalf of such concepts as emancipation for women. 7 3 See p.28, n.70. '* See Fig. 2 ^ "Aout - on peut commencer les labours des terres qui recevront le seigle ou les fevroles " The Almanacs from year to year repeated the same agricultural information for the same reasons giving the impression of timelessness and lack of change to t h i s work in the countryside. This selection i s from 1852, after the troubled events from 1848 leading up to the insurrection at the coup d'etat in 1851. Almanac du labourer de la Nievre. pour 1852 (Paris: B r i l l y , Divry et Cie, 1853), 19. See Albert Boime "The Academic Landscape: Traditional Procedure," The Academy and French  Painting in the Nineteenth Century (London: Phaidon, 1970), 133-165. 30 academic penchant for ' f i n i s h ' by evincing a smooth and f u l l y rendered rather than sketchy or material surface. The l a t t e r i s only apparent i n the immediate foreground where the plowed up mud i s depicted with what appears to be unblended but smooth layers — unlike Barbizon impasto — of dark brown and black paint. Otherwise, the d e t a i l e d colouration of Bonheur's landscape and animals i s produced through built-up layers of c a r e f u l l y blended pigment, very d i f f e r e n t to the "subversive" Barbizon m a t e r i a l i t y of paint application as intervention. Bonheur's brushwork att e s t s to painstakingly executed craftsmanship i n the i n d i v i d u a l l y rendered hairs of oxen fur, the drops of s a l i v a f a l l i n g from the animals' open mouths, and the blades of grass, weeds and flowers i n the overturned pasture. The generally harmonious technical execution of Plowing i n the Nivernais extends into i t s subject. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that the conservative c r i t i c F. de Lagenevais i n h i s review of the Salon of 1849 a c t u a l l y linked the notion of r u r a l harmony and peace with Rosa Bonheur's r u r a l landscape. He comments i n the p o l i t i c a l l y r i g h t leaning journal Revue des Deux Mondes that: A v o i r 1'extension plus grande qui prend chaque annee l e paysage, on d i r a i t qu'un besoin des sensations fraiches, une sorte de s o i f de jeunesse porte l a generation a c t u e l l e a chercher un refuge dans l e calme et dans l e paix de l a nature. Toute oeuvre impregnee d•un sorte 1'odeur des champs est sur d'etre l a bienvenue. C'est ce qui a r r i v e a l ' i d y l l e de Mile. Rosa Bonheur. In the passage c i t e d above, F. de Lagenevais speaks of the desire of contemporary Parisians - as he voices t h i s i n 1849 - f o r an escape into the countryside as a refuge where calm and peace makes everything harmonious. Through a reading which emphasizes continued, t r a d i t i o n a l elements, Rosa F. de Lagenevais, "Le Salon de 1849," Revue des Deux Hordes (15 aout 1849): 585. 31 Bonheur's r u r a l landscape i s represented as a peaceful scene of r u r a l labour, where nothing disrupts the r e p e t i t i v e natural cycle of seasonal planting. The countryside i s i n a state of unproblematic replanting, promising the reward of a r i c h harvest i n exchange for labour by peasantry and oxen. Affirming t h i s wealth of return as a reasonable expectation i s the physical condition of the oxen. The robust health of the animals i s a testimony to t h e i r existence i n a nature made p l e n t i f u l through patient annual c u l t i v a t i o n . The countryside and i t s inhabitants appear to j o i n t l y partake of an i d y l l i c experience where harmonious nature i s endlessly rejuvenating. The whole sense of timelessness attached to the above description of Rosa Bonheur's r u r a l landscape comes from i t s reference to what was constructed as a s t a t i c way of l i f e . As Christopher Parsons and Neil McWilliam have noted, such representation of the countryside i n the nineteenth century stood as ...an affirmation of values located i n the past -of forms of s o c i a l organisation, national consciousness, epistemological outlook and creative process i d e n t i f i e d with a c i v i l i z a t i o n untainted by nationalism and urban fragmentation. Within t h i s c o n s t e l l a t i o n of sympathies the peasantry occupies a p i v o t a l r o l e , since they are deemed to have preserved in t a c t c e r t a i n attitudes and b e l i e f s - cer t a i n notions of the i n d i v i d u a l ' s place within the natural order - which had become foreign to the urban mentality....the peasantry are unchanged and unchanging: t h e i r i n e r t i a guarantees the s u r v i v a l of fundamental values i n a society otherwise characterised by decadence and i n s t a b i l i t y . Parsons and McWilliam i n the above passage are a c t u a l l y speaking of the French nineteenth century c r i t i c A l f r e d Christopher Parsons and Neil McWilliam, "'Le Paysan de Paris:' Alfred Sensier and the Myth of Rural France," Oxford Art Journal 6, n. 2 (1983): 39. 32 S e n s i e r ' s w r i t i n g on the p a i n t e r of French peasantry, J-F. M i l l e t , but Rosa Bonheur's r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the c o u n t r y s i d e f u n c t i o n s i n a s i m i l a r way. A v a i l a b l e i n her s u b j e c t o f r u r a l l a b o u r f o r n i n e t e e n t h century viewers are many of the same a s c r i b e d v i r t u e s , which, as i n S e n s i e r ' s case, stand . 79 o u t s i d e of escape or h i s t o r i c change. Plowing i n the  N i v e r n a i s i n c o r p o r a t e s the n o t i o n of s t a b i l i t y , which c a l l s up the honoring of p a s t v a l u e s and a commitment t o l o c a l r o o t s . The image p o r t r a y s l a b o u r t h a t i s t i e d t o the seasons, t h i s b e i n g founded upon a s t e r e o t y p i c a l attachment t o nature on the p a r t of the p e a s a n t . 8 0 The myth i m p l i e s as m o t i v a t i o n f o r l a b o u r a d e v o t i o n t o community good, an enduring component i n the f u n c t i o n i n g of a u n i v e r s a l i z e d r u r a l s o c i e t y . Through i t s i n c l u s i o n of t r a d i t i o n a l concepts as an ongoing f a c t of r u r a l l i f e , Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the N i v e r n a i s thus c o n t r i b u t e s t o the n o s t a l g i c myth of an i n f i n i t e l y harmonious r u r a l France. T h i s f u n c t i o n s i n o p p o s i t i o n t o the a c t u a l i t y o f France's p r o b l e m a t i c and s h i f t i n g s o c i e t y i n 1848 and 1849. The r u r a l myth d e f i n e d the c o u n t r y s i d e not o n l y as •unchanged and unchanging' but a l s o c h a r a c t e r i s e d i t s i n h a b i t a n t s as beings f o r e v e r d w e l l i n g ' w i t h i n the n a t u r a l o r d e r . ' With a b a s i s i n the peasantry's p r o x i m i t y t o the e a r t h and animals, the c o n s t r u c t e d image of the peasant as c l o s e t o nature e f f e c t i v e l y ordered a c a t e g o r y f o r the peasantry as a p a r t from t h a t of s o - c a l l e d ' c l a s s e d 81 s o c i e t y . ' As one s t e r e o t y p e , peasants were t y p i f i e d as , y Ibid, 40. 80 The identity constructed for the peasantry within rural myth appropriated various stereotypical notions. For a description and comparison, see the unpublished Ph.D. dissertation by Maureen P. Ryan, Peasant Painting and its Criticism in France. 1875-1885: Themes and Debates (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1987), ch. 1. 8 1 Ibid. 33 82 creatures of brute force who were dependent on other segments of society to form the p o l i t i c a l systems needed for t h e i r welfare. Their labour - necessary to France's economic and p o l i t i c a l s u r v i v a l - was viewed as productive by the urban bourgeoisie when the countryside was peacefully ordered. A countryside e x i s t i n g outside of time and inhabited by a resigned and accepting peasantry was essen t i a l to the bourgeois of both the p o l i t i c a l r i g h t and the l e f t . Both these factions of the bourgeois c l a s s depended on a stable and cohesive r u r a l population to maintain a platform for t h e i r propaganda assault on country areas. The bourgeois class's own construction of the peasant as separate from the rest of society would have worked i n a perverse fashion to reinforce t h e i r fears of an unsettled countryside i n 1848 and 1849. As an i r r a t i o n a l , b l i n d force s t r i k i n g out against i t s circumstances, a disturbed peasantry was perceived as able to quickly reduce France into anarchy. Afte r the bloody 'June Days' i n 1848, the bourgeoisie anxiously fantasized about the p o s s i b i l i t y of a general peasant insurrection as a r e s u l t of national i n s t a b i l i t y since the Revolution i n February 1848. The huge numbers of peasantry - i n addition to t h e i r stereotype as close to nature - made them appear p o t e n t i a l l y overwhelming. In h i s study of French r u r a l economy, John Home provides r a t i o s demonstrating the greater s i z e of the peasant force i n comparison to urban population and i t s production: ... i n important respects France remained a r u r a l society. The i n d u s t r i a l revolution i n England and Wales accelerated and completed the work of an e a r l i e r , long agrarian evolution i n eroding small scale peasant farming and rapidl y subordinating country to town, with 50% of the population l i v i n g i n urban areas by 1851. France only reached t h i s See p.28, n.70 34 figure i n 1930 ... . The value of French a g r i c u l t u r a l production compared to i n d u s t r i a l production was 3:1 i n 1830, 2:1 i n 1850 and s t i l l 1:1 i n 1900, while the small scale peasant, the sharecropper and the a g r i c u l t u r a l labourer remained central features of French society. Rosa Bonheur painted her r u r a l landscape i n the p o l i t i c a l l y explosive years of 1848 and 1849. These years combined an unsettled economy and constant p o l i t i c a l tremors with fears of a large and p o t e n t i a l l y revolutionary peasantry. I t might, therefore, be conjectured that the Salon public - irregardless of p o l i t i c a l persuasion - would welcome harmonious depictions of the countryside. As mentioned previously, the c r i t i c F. de Lagenevais i n h i s review of the Salon of 1849 had, i n a conservative reading of Bonheur's painting, l a b e l l e d her r u r a l landscape Plowing  i n the Nivernais an ' i d y l l e ' and stated the public had a t h i r s t for a refuge, for calm and peace. On the other hand, what i s known about mid-nineteenth century economic and s o c i a l condition f o r the peasantry c l e a r l y demonstrates that l i f e for these inhabitants of the r u r a l landscape was f a r from i d y l l i c and was instead ground fo r vast discontent. The following discussion engages i n deconstruction of the r u r a l myth while investigating factors underscoring the peasant's economic i d e n t i t y , t h i s i n the h i s t o r i c context of France's r u r a l d i s t r i c t s i n 1848 and 1849. Such a discussion also has the function of examining the nature and extent of Rosa Bonheur's construction of her r u r a l image. By the mid-nineteenth century, the North of France was s u f f i c i e n t l y i n d u s t r i a l i s e d that i t s inhabitants could f i n d employment i n labouring jobs as an a l t e r n a t i v e to working John Home, "The Peasant i n 19th Century France (1840-1914)" i n the catalogue The Peasant in  Nineteenth Century Art (Dublin: The Douglas Hyde Gallery, 1980), 17. 35 84 the land f u l l t i m e . On the other hand, the peasants inhabiting the more sparsely i n d u s t r i a l i z e d Centre and South r u r a l d i s t r i c t s i n France - which included Nivernais - had few i f any a l t e r n a t i v e s to drawing a l i v i n g from the s o i l . The land i n these areas was occupied by owner-cultivators of large farms and also by small scale owners, labourers and sharecroppers. The l a t t e r group of owners, those with small scale holdings, were i n the majority. These peasants were dependent on common grazing areas to keep t h e i r animals, and such areas were being gradually enclosed. They did not own the amount of land proportionately large enough to graze a sizeable team of oxen, such as are shown i n Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais. The robust health of Bonheur's team of oxen could only have been a p o s s i b i l i t y on a farm experiencing abundant annual returns at harvest season, an unimaginable proposition for the small farms where even the peasantry i t s e l f was rendered 50% u n f i t f o r army duty 87 because of lack of a basic d i e t . Agulhon points out the corollary of t h i s in p o l i t i c a l terms. "In northern and western France, ... socialism had s t i l l not succeeded in penetrating ... ." Maurice Agulhon, The Republican  Experiment. 1848-1852. trans. Janet Lloyd (London: Cambridge University Press, 1983). Roger Price s i m i l a r l y states that there was in 1848 "... the growth of a rural and small town radicalism which appeared a l l the more dangerous because i t was concentrated i n particular regions. This occurred in the more economically backward areas amongst men who found their economic status and thence their social status threatened by the developing forces of market agriculture and indust r i a l capitalism." Price, 2. " Horne, 17. An e a r l i e r a r t i c l e on the French peasantry by Albert Soboul maintains that at mid-century the small scale farm population - that using t r a d i t i o n a l farming methods - was at the height of i t s powers, having discovered i t s e l f as a p o l i t i c a l force in the matter of class struggle. At the same time, Soboul portrays i t as being at a point of dramatic eclipse by large scale farming. He sees the la t t e r as part of an immediately encroaching and inevitable economic c a p i t a l i s t movement. This account i s at odds with John Home's more detailed and c r i t i c a l account of the small scale peasantry's s l i g h t l y diminished but nevertheless enduring presence well into the twentieth century. Soboul, 43. 8 6 Soboul, 1. Both these authors provide a description of Nivernais' peasants poor diet and l i v i n g conditions: Eugen Weber, Peasants into Frenchmen (London: Chatto and Windus, 1977), 132; G. T h u i l l i e r , Aspects de  I'economie nivernais au XIXe s i e c l e (Paris: Colin, 1966), 55-63. 36 Examination of the d e t a i l s attached to the above general description or typography of peasant subsistence on the land reveal a very d i f f e r e n t story attached to the majority of farm owners' l i v e s i n the countryside than the impression of pastoral plenitude evoked by Rosa Bonheur's image set i n Nivernais. Small scale owners i n the Centre and South suffered from i s o l a t i o n and poverty, the l a t t e r caused by small holdings, under-investment, and • 88 technological backwardness. Closure of wooded and meadow grazing areas had important consequences f o r the peasants' a g r i c u l t u r a l production. Without animals, they would lack the physical source of power needed fo r t r a d i t i o n a l l y executed labour. Without the more abundant resources of land and money available to the owner-cultivators of large farms, the small scale owner could not practice crop rotation, buy chemical f e r t i l i s e r , or think about purchasing steam powered or more sophisticated machinery. Subject to the mendacious and greedy practices of usurers to extend t h e i r c r e d i t i n bad crop years, the small scale owning peasantry continued - without recourse - t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l Besides G. T h u i l l i e r ' s Aspects pertaining p a r t i c u l a r l y to Nivernais [see footnote 80], a portr a i t of the French peasantry's isolated and impoverished conditions in particular regions may be generally arrived at through reading Maurice Agulhon, G. Desert and R. Specklin's Histoire de la France  rurale. v o l . 3, Apogee et c r i s e de la c i v i l i s a t i o n pavsanne. 1789-1914 (Paris: S e n i l , 1976). 89 Modern agricultural technology in the way of chemical f e r t i l i s e r s and farm machinery was available i n 1849 for those such as large scale landowner-cultivators who could afford i t . On June 4, 1849, a large industrial exhibition ( 11'Exposition des produits de I'industrie') opened, and thi s shared newspaper coverage with the Salon the following week. A report i n the Journal des Beaux Arts gives an impression of the indust r i a l event's status through the newspaper's enthusiastic tone and description of i t s s i z e . It said "Le nombre des exposants s'est eleve cette annee a 4,500, sans compter les agriculteurs." (4 juin 1849): 7-8. The following week the Journal reported "Les machines sont une de plus belles parties de I'exposition; on y remarque, entr' autres, le locomotive Compton. Le t r a v a i l de toutes ces machines est d'une grande perfection ..." (10 juin 1849):10. The Journal des  Beaux Arts actually added the words "et des Arts Industriels" to i t s t i t l e on June 4th, the opening date of the in d u s t r i a l exhibition. The Parisian audience viewing Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the  Nivernais must have been aware of the other event, which would have presented a different v i s i o n of agriculture than the t r a d i t i o n a l one. 90 In 1848, the imposition of a 45 centime tax for the funding of National Workshops by the Provisional government greatly angered a peasantry already under duress, making them feel that their needs were being ignored while ' p a r a s i t i c a l ' urban workers lived off money the peasantry could not afford to give. This unpopular measure by the new Republican government helped to push the peasantry into open expression of their discontent by March and A p r i l , 1848. Price, 107. 37 methods of farming. These simple forms of agr i c u l t u r e combined basic physical strength and the wooden plow. Dating back to the Middle Ages, woodcuts from a s t r o l o g i c a l tables (early forms of Almanacs) and hand i l l u s t r a t e d Books 91 of Hours present images of such labour i n r u r a l France. Rosa Bonheur*s r u r a l landscape painting Plowing i n the  Nivernais presents t h i s t r a d i t i o n a l form of agr i c u l t u r e , but her image does not represent the miserable conditions of the small scale peasant owner - the majority of the peasantry -i n Nivernais i n 1848 and 1849. Neither does her version of the countryside disrupt the construction of an ' i d y l l e ' , of a harmonious, timeless refuge i n nature which i s both rejuvenating and unproblematic. Plowing i n the Nivernais can thus be read i n these terms as v i s u a l l y evoking a 'rural myth.1 As discussed previously, t h i s myth was perpetuated by the urban bourgeoisie as a whole since i t functioned i n the i n t e r e s t of t h e i r own immediate s u r v i v a l i n 1848 and 1849. An alternate reading of the landscape. Rosa Bonheur*s Plowing i n the Nivernais through an academic practice and vocabulary evoked a conservative myth appealing to both l e f t and r i g h t . At the same time, the painting could be read i n terms of a new modern landscape idiom that was associated with individualism. This y l See Fig. 3. The t r a d i t i o n a l scheme for i l l u s t r a t i o n of Books of Hours displays a two-page format, " ... which meant that there was more space for displaying the most important p i c t o r i a l features of the Calendars - the labours or occupations of the months with their corresponding sign of the Zodiac The occupations are taken from the seasonal labours of the peasants and the pastimes of t h e i r feudal lords. A standardized sequence became established for Books of Hours." Ploughing and sowing are l i s t e d as t r a d i t i o n a l labour in the month of October. John Harthan, Books of Hours (London: Thames and Hudson, 1977), 24. Harthan later in his discussion notes the intended audience for Books of Hours, " ... the vehicle both of i n t e l l e c t u a l C h r i s t i a n i t y at i t s l o f t i e s t and of popular devotion on the most primitive l e v e l . " Harthan, 31. Griselda Pollock notes a relationship between the works of M i l l e t - insofar as his ' b i b l i c a l tendencies' are concerned - and late medieval Books of Hours. Pollock, M i l l e t (London: Oresko Books Ltd., 1977), 15. 38 a l t e r n a t e r e a d i n g of Bonheur's r u r a l landscape i n 1848 and 1849 can be viewed i n l i g h t of the debate a t t h i s date d e f i n i n g the nature of a r t , the landscape i n p a r t i c u l a r , and the s t a t u s o f the a r t i s t i n France. In h i s a r t i c l e on the r e l a t e d s u b j e c t s o f ' a r t , labour, and mass democracy,' N e i l McWilliam comments t h a t the " ... a n t i t h e s i s between 'forme' and 'pensee', and the r e l a t e d i s s u e o f a r t i s t i c i n d i v i d u a l i s m , was keenly debated under the Second R e p u b l i c , i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s c l o s e l y i d e n t i f i e d w i t h the broader q u e s t i o n of a r t i s t s ' r e l a t i o n s h i p towards sources o f power and a u t h o r i t y . " F u r t h e r s t a t i n g t h a t the " ... a t t a c k on formalism and a e s t h e t i c convention was a defense o f i n d i v i d u a l i s m McWilliam r e v e a l s a p o s i t i v e l y conceived view of the l a t t e r a t mid-century as s i g n i f y i n g " ... a process of s e l f - r e a l i s a t i o n which c o u l d f u e l r e s i s t a n c e t o . . . . 92 a l l forms o f o p p r e s s i o n - s o c i a l , economic and a e s t h e t i c . " I t i s t r u e t h a t by 1848, d e v i a t i o n s from Academic p r a c t i c e were common. They have i n t e r e s t i n 1848 and 1849, as McWilliam i n d i c a t e s above, not so much i n r e l a t i o n t o c i r c u m v e n t i n g the Academy as an i n s t i t u t i o n (as d i d the e a r l i e r Barbizon p r a c t i c e ) but i n the sense of s u g g e s t i n g an i n d i v i d u a l i s m c u r r e n t w i t h r e p u b l i c a n i d e a l s . Formal f e a t u r e s o f Plowing i n the N i v e r n a i s can be viewed as d i s p l a y i n g an involvement w i t h t r a d i t i o n a l academic p r a c t i c e as w e l l as r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the landscape l i n k e d t o i n d i v i d u a l i s m and, i n t h i s sense, r e p u b l i c a n i s m . S i n c e the t r a d i t i o n a l f e a t u r e s o f Bonheur's landscape have a l r e a d y been d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s c h a p t e r i n r e l a t i o n to the c o n s e r v a t i v e s o - c a l l e d ' r u r a l myth' and a t t a c h e d n o t i o n s of order, harmony, and the u n i v e r s a l , the f o l l o w i n g b r i e f examination has the i n t e n t i o n o f i d e n t i f y i n g n o n - t r a d i t i o n a l Neil McWilliam, "Art, Labour and Mass Democracy: Debates on the Status of the A r t i s t i n France around 1848," Art History 1 (March 1988): 70-71. 39 elements permitting an alternate reading. For example, there i s the diagonal progress of the oxen over the Nivernais landscape, over the canvas, and over the three grounds t r a d i t i o n a l l y held separate i n academic pr a c t i c e . The oxen traversing the grounds are the important feature of the canvas, the diagonal l i n e of t h e i r labouring path infusing t h e i r presentation with energy and t h e i r massive s i z e i n r e l a t i o n to a l l else further commanding attention from the audience. The vigorous sienna of the animals against the bright blue sky adds to t h e i r l i v e l i n e s s and t h i s colouration i s i n contrast to the generally more subtle tones of academic landscape. The oxen are further noticeable because of t h e i r v i v i d lightness i n comparison to the dark opaque patches of brown and black (nonacademic i n t h e i r lack of blended pigment) representing muddy, f e r t i l i s e d earth i n the immediate foreground. Rather than being nonspecific features embedded within a generalized landscape i n academic t r a d i t i o n , these Nivernais oxen are prominent and recognizable. They labour within a p a r t i c u l a r French regional landscape. The r u r a l landscape Plowing i n  the Nivernais. painted by Bonheur i n 1848 and 1849, i s produced i n the context of debate on the d e f i n i t i o n of a r t , the landscape, and the status of the a r t i s t (see p. 38) I t i s seemingly discussed by c r i t i c s from the r i g h t and the l e f t both i n l i g h t of these issues and the alternate readings available through formal features of the a r t i s t ' s depiction of Nivernais. The complexity of the c r i t i c a l discourse contained i n reviews of the Salon of 1849 i s as turg i d as that of p o l i t i c a l circumstances i n 1848 and 1849. CHAPTER THREE CRITICAL DISCOURSE The aftermath of the June Days i n 1848 revealed a Parisian population dreaming of a country refuge, a calm and harmonious ' i d y l l e ' because i t was t i r e d of bloody b a t t l e s between l e f t and r i g h t for p o l i t i c a l supremacy. Struggle amongst these factions now took place outside of Paris i n the form of a propaganda war for domination of the • 93 countryside. I t i s important to note that although both l e f t and r i g h t were interested i n gaining support from the r u r a l population, neither side wished the l a t t e r to be independent of i t s control. Both urban l e f t and r i g h t feared anarchic action by the large r u r a l population which they judged to be capable of a mass attack on Paris. Upon investigation, i t i s cl e a r that some geographic regions of r u r a l France were more unstable and v o l a t i l e than others i n 1848 and 1849. For example, the North because of i t s more i n d u s t r i a l i z e d economy was more stable than the Centre or the South. In looking at the department of Nivernais i n the Centre of France, the area i n which Rosa Bonheur s p e c i f i c a l l y s i t e d her r u r a l landscape Plowing i n the  Nivernais. a class based difference amongst i t s inhabitants must be pointed out. Tied to Paris through the l a t t e r ' s support of what industry existed i n Nivernais, the r u r a l bourgeoisie was b a s i c a l l y interested i n behaving i n the inte r e s t s of the c a p i t a l and whatever p o l i t i c a l tendencies 93 Price, 202. 40 41 i t was perceived as having. On the other hand, a peasantry barely e x i s t i n g through small scale farming vented t h e i r anger and desperation by open r e b e l l i o n against those wealthy bourgeoisie and landowners they f e l t to be responsible for t h e i r misery i n 1848 and 1849. The combined poverty and resultant violence symptomatic of Nivernais' peasantry i n 1848 and 1849 by force of event divorced that p a r t i c u l a r r u r a l landscape from mythic notions of a peaceful haven i n a timeless, unchanging countryside. Nivernais' lack of s t a b i l i t y amongst the peasantry during these years would render t h i s location as a problematic one f o r the s t r i f e weary, post June 1848 Parisian population d e s i r i n g to dream of a harmonious r u r a l ' i d y l l e . ' Yet, i n s p i t e of the overtones of anarchic r e b e l l i o n associated with Nivernais at t h i s date, Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais received a very p o s i t i v e response from the c r i t i c s reviewing the Salon of 1849. Po s i t i v e c r i t i c a l reception Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais was generally acknowledged to be the focus of c r i t i c a l attention at the Salon of 1849. The following c r i t i c s wrote about Bonheur's painting as, on an overt l e v e l at least, the noteworthy painting of the exhibition. The conservative painter and c r i t i c Auguste Galimard wrote i n a publication e n t i t l e d Examen Cri t i q u e : Salon de 1849 that " l e Labourage Nivernais peint par Mile Bonheur, est un oeuvre superieure a bien des It has been necessary to construct as accurately as possible for the complex years of 1848 and 1849 the p o l i t i c a l orientation of the c r i t i c s and newspapers named i n t h i s chapter since no one source reveals t h i s . Several texts have provided some indication of ideological leaning. These are: Claude Bel Ianger, Jacques Godechot, Pierre Guiral et Fernand Terrou, Histoire CeneYale de la Presse Francaise. T.2 "De 1815 a 1871', (Paris: Presses Universtaires de France, 1969); Chartres Musee des Beaux-Arts, Exigences de realisroe dans la peinture francaise entre 1830 et 1870 (1983); T.J. Clark, Image of the  People (Greenwich, Conn.: New York Graphic Society, 1973); Joseph Sloane, French Painting between the  Past and the Present (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1951). 42 t i t r e s . " 9 5 The c r i t i c Hippolyte Acquier, w r i t i n g i n the l e f t leaning paper La Liberte. c i t e d Rosa Bonheur's r u r a l landscape as a painting he found to be excellent. He said to t h i s e f f e c t that " ... nous nous arretons i c i apres avoir nominee toutefois l e s excellents ... l e s animaux de P. Rousseau, Cogniard et ceux surtout de Mile Rosa Bonheur." 9 6 The c r i t i c F. de Lagenevais i n the conservative journal Revue des Deux Mondes warmly commented that "cet Attelaae  nivernais ... est ... un excellent tableau, et l e s boeufs de 97 Mile Bonheur n'ont pas leurs p a r e i l s a 1'exposition." Similar praise came from the c r i t i c 'Fab. P.' i n the r i g h t leaning paper Le Moniteur Universel. He wrote of Bonheur's painting that "nous nous contenterons desormais d'appeler les regards du public sur l e s tableaux qui sont, comme l e Labouraae nivernais de Mile Rosa Bonheur, tout proches de l a 98 perfection ... ." The c r i t i c for the o r l e a n i s t and l i b e r a l Le Temps. Leon Cailleux, a d d i t i o n a l l y commented of Rosa Bonheur and her painting that " e l l e nous a donne cette annee 99 un bel attelage de boeufs ... ." Writing h i s review of the 'Salon de 1849' i n the r i g h t leaning paper La Presse, the c r i t i c Theophile Gautier praised Bonheur's r u r a l landscape highly. He e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y noted that "Mile Rosa Bonheur ... est maintenant place du premier rang dans l a s p e c i a l i t e des animaux. Son attelage nivernais est un chef d'oeuvre ... Les boeufs appartient sans conteste a Mile Rosa Bonheur. " 1 0 ° F i n a l l y , the c r i t i c 'P.D.L.* i n the l e f t paper 95 Auguste Galimard, Salon de 1849. Examen Critique (Paris: Guerin et la Motte, s.d.), 23. 9 6 Hippolyte Acquier, "Salon de 1849," La l i b e r t e (3 i u i l l e t 1849): s.p. 97 F. de Lagenevais (Blaze de Bury), "Le Salon de 1849," Revue des Deux Mondes (15 aout 1849): 585. 9 8 'Fab P.,' "Exposition de 1849," Le Moniteur Universel (24 j u i l l e t 1849): 2443. 9 9 Leon Cailleux, "Salon de 1849," Le Temps (15 aout 1849):s.p. 1 0 0 T h e o p h i l e Gautier, "Salon de 1849," La Presse (15 aout 1849): s.p. 43 La Republique assessed Bonheur's work i n the Salon of 1849 as the most outstanding of her career. He said that "nous ne craignions pas d'avancer que ce tableau est l'un des plus merveilleux qui soient s o r t i s du pinceau de Mile Rosa Bonheur." 1 0 1 Some of the c r i t i c s reviewing the Salon of 1849 perceived Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais as the outstanding work i n the exhibition because of i t s success with the Salon audience. Writing to t h i s e f f e c t was the c r i t i c A l f r e d Daugher i n h i s 'Revue des Beaux Arts' i n the ri g h t leaning Le Pays: Dauger commented "... nous aurons rappele l e succes du charmant tableau de Mile Bonheur, 1 02 l'evenement du Salon ... . " I n the l e f t paper Le S i e c l e . the c r i t i c Louis Desnoyer pointed out that Bonheur's Plowing  i n the Nivernais was, of a l l the paintings i n the Salon, the most popular with 'the crowd'. He noted that " l e tableau de Mile Rosa Bonheur est sans contredit c e l u i de tous qui 103 obtient l e plus de succes aux yeux de l a foule ... ." Si m i l a r l y , the c r i t i c 'Courtois' i n the l e f t leaning l e g i t i m i s t paper Le Corsaire said of the Salon crowd that 104 "... tout l e monde a deja nomme Mile Rosa Bonheur." C r i t i c a l discourse and the r u r a l myth In investigating reasons for Rosa Bonheur's success at the Salon of 1849 with her r u r a l landscape, the c r i t i c a l discourse i t s e l f can be considered a mediating factor. The problematic locale of Nivernais i n the h i s t o r i c context of 'P.D.L.,' "Salon de 1849," La Republique (1 j u i l l e t 1849): s.p. Alfred Dauger, "Revue des Beaux Arts," Le Pays (15 j u i l l e t 1849): s.p. Louis Desnoyers, "Salon de 1849," Le Siecle (27 j u i l l e t 1849): s.p. •Courtois,' "Beaux Arts - Salon de 1849," Le Corsaire (30 ju i n 1849): s.p. 44 1848 and 1849 and the mythic i d e n t i t y of the c o u n t r y s i d e as unchangingly p e a c e f u l and p r o d u c t i v e are d i s c r e p a n t n o t i o n s , but the c r i t i c a l d i s c o u r s e p l a y s a l a r g e p a r t i n o b v i a t i n g t h a t d i f f e r e n c e i n the favour o f a n o n - h i s t o r i c d i s c u s s i o n . The c r i t i c s ' d i a l o g u e f o r the most p a r t o c c l u d e s N i v e r n a i s ' p r o b l e m a t i c s t a t u s through c o n f i n i n g t h e i r a n a l y s e s t o the a r t i s t Bonheur's t e c h n i c a l e x e c u t i o n of the r u r a l N i v e r n a i s landscape, and by d e s c r i b i n g t h i s w i t h i n a p a r t i c u l a r terminology surrounding a c o n c e p t i o n of an image as ' r e a l ' . As w i l l be seen i n the f o l l o w i n g examples, t h i s d w e l l s upon d i s c u s s i o n o f what i s 'exact', ' t r u e ' , or even p o e t i c t r u t h 1 0 5 ( p o e s i e ) . T h i s has the e f f e c t of f a c i l i t a t i n g o r n a t u r a l i z i n g Bonheur's scene of p e a c e f u l c o u n t r y l a b o u r and d i s m i s s i n g the h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i t y of peasant anarchy i n N i v e r n a i s i n 1849. Apart from t h i s , i t i s important t o note t h a t though the d i s c o u r s e can be examined i n terms o f an o v e r l y i n g e x p l i c i t d i r e c t i o n which commented on what each c r i t i c saw as ' t r u e ' , i t i s by no means homogenous i n agreement on how o r where w i t h i n Bonheur's p a i n t i n g " l e v r a i " i s expressed or l o c a t e d . T h i s s i z e a b l e d i v i s i v e n e s s of o p i n i o n has as i t s t h e o r e t i c a l background i n 1849 the debate amongst c r i t i c s o f v a r y i n g p o l i t i c a l a l l e g i a n c e s on 'forme' and pensee', behind which l a y the c u r r e n t h i s t o r i c a l l y r e l e v a n t q u e s t i o n of the a r t i s t ' s s t a t u s and g o a l s i n r e l a t i o n t o a u t h o r i t y . 1 0 6 In the c r i t i c a l d i s c o u r s e i s s u i n g from the Salon of 1849, these arguments i n r e l a t i o n t o Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the N i v e r n a i s have a l s o the v e r y t a n g i b l e l o c u s i n t h i s canvas of her n e g o t i a t i o n o f academic p r a c t i c e and v o c a b u l a r y along w i t h t h e new modern landscape idiom r e d o l e n t of i n d i v i d u a l i s m and r e p u b l i c a n i s m i n i t s v a r y i n g moderations. C o n f l i c t s i n the d i s c o u r s e are For a discussion of 'poesie' see Ryan, Ch. I I I . I refer to Neil McUilliam's a r t i c l e on this subject: see p.38, n.92. 45 voiced by c r i t i c s i n conjunction with formal features previously discussed i n t h i s thesis as evidence of Bonheur's p r a c t i c a l negotiation with contemporary t h e o r e t i c a l issues. These c o n f l i c t s are also a r t i c u l a t e d under related matters such as the following: technical execution, d e f i n i t i o n s of difference between 'exactitude' and 'poesie', the status of the landscape category as opposed to h i s t o r y painting, the contribution of the young French school to the growth of national culture i n the Republican years, and the young French painters' status i n comparison to the I t a l i a n 'old masters' or Dutch landscapists. Yet these concerns never supercede those pertaining to exactness, truth, or poesie as the c r i t i c s write t h e i r reviews i n the midst of controversy over the actual fate of the French countryside i n 1849. The notion of 'exactitude' (exactness, correctness, accuracy, or precision) as a primary focus i n conjunction with that of the 'veritable' (true, genuine, real) constantly underlies the c r i t i c s ' discourse regarding the manner i n which Rosa Bonheur executed her r u r a l landscape Plowing i n the Nivernais. The following two examples from reviews of the Salon of 1849 c l e a r l y demonstrate how these concepts were present i n the c r i t i c s ' language. Theophile Gautier, i n the r i g h t leaning paper La Presse. commented "... franchement les animaux de Mile. Rosa Bonheur sont etudies, dessines et rendus avec une science et une 107 . . . . correction anatomique ... . " L o u i s Desnoyers, writing i n the l e f t leaning Le S i e c l e . stated "L'anatomie de ces animaux, l a lourdeur de leurs attitudes, ... l a lenteur de leur mouvement, tout cela a ete ... execute avec une 108 v e r i t a b l e perfection ... ." 1 0 7 T h e o p h i l e Gautier, "Salon de 1849," La Presse <10 aout 1849): s.p. 1 0 8 L o u i s Desnoyers, "Salon de 1849," Le Siecle (27 j u i l l e t 1849): s.p. 46 The c r i t i c s ' comments on Bonheur*s Plowing i n the  Nivernais i n the Salon of 1849, variously expressed around these central ideas of 'exactitude' and the 'veritable,• chose to examine Bonheur's technical execution and the s k i l l with which i t was ca r r i e d out. Thus, they remarked on her power of observation or a b i l i t y to study ('etudier') •nature,' as well as to shape ('modeler') and to depict ('toucher') nature on canvas. This mode of examination not only i n f e r r e d Bonheur's 'exactitude' i n rendering the Nivernais countryside but more importantly demanded no more than t h i s from the a r t i s t i n return f o r praise from the c r i t i c s i n 1849. For example, the c r i t i c Henry Trianon i n the moderate paper Le Correspondant praised Bonheur's a b i l i t y to observe and shape nature (understood as her subject), commenting that i t made her r u r a l landscape a better work than the painting by Philippe Rousseau. Trianon stated: S i b r i l l i a n t e que s o i t l a palette de M. Philippe Rousseau, s i large que s o i t sa brosse, nous croyons que, cette annee, i l d o i t ceder l e pas a mademoiselle Rosa Bonheur. Cette a r t i s t e i l est v r a i , n'entend n i l e ton n i l a lumiere; mais e l l e etudie et e l l e modele avec tant de soin, e l l e peint avec une t e l l e vigueur, qu'on oublie l e s qualites qui l u i manquent pour ne songer gu'a c e l l e s dont e l l e est s i richement douee. Henry Trianon, "Salon de 1849," l e Correspondant (s.d.): 469. A sim i l a r comment with regard to Bonheur's 'exactness' was made by an unnamed c r i t i c i n Tablettes Europeennes. However, apart from this praise, Trianon also added "Cette a r t i s t e , i l est v r a i , n'entend ni le ton ni la lumiere..." On the other hand, several c r i t i c s commented favourably on the related aspect of colour. For example, Leon Cailleux on the "Salon de 1849," Le Temps (15 aout 1849) wrote "... le tout peint largement et d'une bonne coleur." The c r i t i c 'Fab P.1 reviewed Bonheur's use of colour p o s i t i v e l y but c r i t i c i z e d the lack of harmony induced by her perspective: "en exagerant la degradation perspective, I ' a r t i s t a detruit la l i a i s o n qui devait unir I'un a I'autre le second et le troisieme plan. Mais cette legere imperfection est largement compensee par des beautes incontestables, au nombre desquelles ou remarque principalement le ton ferme et vrai de la couleur..." 'Fab P.', "Salon de 1849," Le Moniteur Universel (19 j u i l l e t 1849): 2443. The c r i t i c Alfred Dauger admired Bonheur's perspective, however, saying "Comme la perspective est bien comprise!" He also commented favourably on the 'ton' of the earth, "cette terre.-.est s i vraie de tons..." Dauger, "Revue des Beaux Arts," Le Pays (4 aout 1849): s.p. Some of the c r i t i c s commented on Bonheur's 'exactness' through giving an overview impression. For example, 'P.D.L.' i n La Republiaue p o s i t i v e l y noted of Bonheur's oxen: "... comme ces boeufs semblent les aspirer a pleins poumons et s'en servir pour reparer leurs forces." (1 j u i l l e t 1849): s.p. 47 In the newspaper Le Corsaire. the c r i t i c 'Courtois' defended the r u r a l landscape form and Dutch a r t ( i e . , Paul Potter) against history painting and the I t a l i a n 'masters' (ie . Raphael, T i t i a n , and Veronese). 'Courtois' c r i t i c i z e d what he viewed as the l a t t e r ' s lack of s k i l l i n rendering animal subjects with exactitude, saying on t h i s point that "c'est a douter quelquefois de 1'espece qu * on a voulu rendre." Continuing to use s k i l l i n depiction as the context for his c r i t i q u e , 'Courtois' thereby placed Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais above Paul Potter's landscapes. He stated: Plus heureux que Paul Potter qui, d i s a i t - o n f a i s a i t mieux les animaux que l e paysage et l e s hommes, Mile Rosa Bonheur touche avec un egal succes l e s figures, l e s t e r r a i n s et l e s animaux. In contrast, the reviewer Louis Desnoyer who i s of a l l the c r i t i c s the most negative about Bonheur's landscape i n his c r i t i c i s m , said on the one hand that "L'anatomie de ces animaux, ... a ete ... execute avec une veritable perfection..." but stated that th i s i s "... dans la juste l i m i t e de la verite ideale." He then continued i n a negative vein to c r i t i c i z e the foreground, seeing t h i s as detracting from the port r a i t of the oxen: "... les quartiers de cette terre sont trop bien peints,... Mile Rosa Bonheur a risque de f a i r e des boeufs de Sucre candi, labourant une terre de chocolat." Desnoyers, "Salon de 1849," Le Siecle (27 j u i l l e t 1849): s.p. 1 1 0 'Courtois, 1 "Beaux Arts - Salon de 1849," Le Corsaire (30 j u i n 1849): s.p. The c r i t i c Theophile Gautier also praised Bonheur's painting over that of Potter. He said "... nous pr6ferons de beaucoup les boeufs de Mile Rosa Bonheur aux boeufs et aux vaches de Paul Potter, s i admires et paves des prix s i fabuleux... les animaux de Mile. Rosa Bonheur sont ... rendus avec une ... correction anatomique que l'on chercherait en vain dans ce peintre dont le vogue nous a toujours etonne." Joining 'Courtois' in a show of nationalist preference, Gautier c l e a r l y stated "Le jeune a r t i s t e francaise est d'a i l l e u r s bien superieure a I'ancien maitre comme paysagiste." Gautier, "Salon de 1849," La Presse (10 aout 1849): s.p. 'Courtois' i n comparing the I t a l i a n masters to Rosa Bonheur on grounds of 'exactitude', touched on the t r a d i t i o n a l hierarchy of subjects. In t h i s extension of his argument, he said "... le meilleur tableau de ces 2,500 ... tout le monde a deja nomme Mile Rosa Bonheur ... Bahl d i s a i t un rapin (genre de I ' h i s t o i r e ) , ce ne sont que des animaux! Brave homme, ignorez-vous que des les premiers temps de I'art, deja l'on d i s a i t q u ' i l y avait cent mauvais peintres de heros, contre un bon peintre de moutons." 'Courtois' thus linked the notions of 'exactness', contemporary nationalism, and the rural landscape as executed by a young French painter in opposition to history painting by the I t a l i a n 'old masters' issuing from a monarchic era. But not a l l f e l t t h i s way toward the category of landscape in 1849. The c r i t i c Auguste Galimard differientated between the art of Rosa Bonheur, Leon Cogniet (an established landscapist), and those who were painters of heroes or madonnas. Of Cogniard's work Galimard said "Cependant cette peinture ne dome pas une idee vraie du s o l e i l que c e l l e de mademoiselle Rosa Bonheur, mais e l l e est d'une douce harmonie qui charme infiniment." Preferring harmony to "une idee vraie" found i n Bonheur's work, Galimard expressed t h i s l i k i n g more f u l l y in his following c r i t i q u e : "... nous esperons amener la foule a reconnaltre avec nous la superiorite de la haute peinture relativement a ces scenes ordinal'res, dont les heros sont des boeufs ou des moutons... nous serions fache de voir I'opinion s'egarer, et confondre I'importance morale de I'art des madones avec la representation des etres depourvus de I'ame reservee par Dieu a l'homme seulement." Galimard, Salon de 1849. Examen Critique (Paris: Guerin et la Motte, s.d.), 128 - 129. 48 Other c r i t i c s discussing Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais at the Salon of 1849 described i t i n a manner which encompassed the previously mentioned c r i t i c s ' v a riously a r t i c u l a t e d assessments of her work as possessing 'exactitude', but added another l e v e l of perception to t h i s . They referred to Bonheur's r u r a l landscape with i t s subject of labour i n Nivernais as containing a t r u t h or ' v e r i t e . ' For example, the c r i t i c Leon Cailleux i n Le Temps remarked upon t h i s q u a l i t y i n Bonheur's painting by saying that: E l l e nous a donne cette annee un bel attelage de boeufs, creusant courageusement leur s i l l o n . C'est toujours cette v e r i t e d'aspect que l'on connait, j o i n t a ce grand et f p r t sentiment de l a campagne et de ses travaux... In La Republique. the c r i t i c 'P.D.L.* remarked on Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais as being devoid of an a r t i f i c i a l manner (and therefore true). He said: E l l e peint comme e l l e v o i t , avec conscience, avec amour. Point de maniere affectee, d'effets faux et fantastiques, de systeme bizarre, autant de v e r i t e dans 1'observation que 1'execution ... on sent que 1'artiste a puise son i n s p i r a t i o n a sa v e r i t a b l e source. Ad d i t i o n a l l y , some c r i t i c s enclosed t h e i r discussion of Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais i n r e l a t i o n to •truth' by i n d i c a t i n g that they defined t h i s q u a l i t y i n landscape as nature successfully reformed into a further, poetic state of truth or 'poesie*. The c r i t i c 'Feu Diderot' i n L ' A r t i s t e praised Bonheur's composition for possessing an a i r of energy, but complained that i t s execution was too "'Leon Cailleux, "Salon de 1849," Le Temps (15 aout 1849): s.p. 1 1 2'P.D.L.', "Salon de 1849," La Republique (1 j u i l l e t 1849): s.p. Also noting that Bonheur's rural landscape was 'true', Alfred Dauger compared i t favourably to painting by the established French animalist Brascassat and the Dutch landscapists: "je ne sais s i M. Brascassat a peint ses bestiaux plus vrais que ceux-la, mais a coup sur Paul Potter n'a jamais f a i t mieux, et le paysage est digne de Ruysdael ou de Berghem ..." Dauger, "Revue des Beaux Arts, " Le Pays (4 aout 1849): s.p. 49 prosaic making i t too l i t e r a l f o r poesie i n h i s opinion. He stated i n a comment prefatory to his discussion of Bonheur's work that he found the young French school to be s t e r i l e because, though i t constantly produced work, i t s painting 113 lacked poesie. Thus he noted of Bonheur's p o r t r a i t of nature that: Rosa Bonheur me suprend par un aspect nouveau, par un accent energetique, par un a i r de v i r i l i t e . C'est l a nature pittoresguement comprise, mais rendue avec l a maniere conventional de M. Horace Vernet. C'est l a prose poetique et non l a poesie. Though a l l of the c r i t i c s reviewing Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais at the Salon of 1849 varied i n t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l opinions about d e t a i l s of the painting i t s e l f , they a l l described i t within the notion of truth to nature. By confining her r u r a l landscape within these terms, they r e i f i e d i t s tendencies toward the r u r a l myth. By reading Plowing i n the Nivernais within t h i s conceptual r e l a t i o n s h i p to a f i c t i o n a l r e a l i t y , the c r i t i c s provided t h e i r P a r i s i a n audience with a salve to sustain i t during the harsh r e a l i t y of the post-June Days i n 1848 and 1849. Feu Diderot said "L'ecole francaise est en plein epanouissement, e l l e monte avec une seve genereuse; mais c'est la seve de la foret qui montre a peine des fleurs et qui ne donne pas de f r u i t s . Ou plutot l'ecole francaise est un moulin a vent qui tourne, tourne, tourne, mais qui a vide ... ou est l a poesie?" Diderot, "Salon de 1849, " L'Artiste (1 aout 1849): s.p. 1 1 4 Ibid., s.p. Diderot compared Bonheur's work to that of Paul Potter, and, unlike the c r i t i c s 'Courtois' and Gautier (see 99), he preferred Potter's rural landscapes seemingly because they were to him more moving: "Paul Potter est plus emu, i l peint d'un pinceau plus large, i l voit plus naTvement." Ibid., s.p. Other c r i t i c s wrote about Plowing i n the Nivernais as combining truth and poetry, or being nature successfully reformed by Bonheur. E.J. Delecluze wrote thusly: " ... I'ouvrage qui a le plus fortement f i x e mon attention dans le palais des T u i l e r i e s , cet celui de Mile Rosa Bonheur ... Cette peinture, pleine de poesie et de ve>ite, est t r a i t e e avec une science et une energie tout a f a i t remarquables." Delecluze, "Salon de 1849," Journal des Debats (16 j u i n 1849): s.p. Alfred Dauger stated that Bonheur's painting reached another level of r e a l i t y through i t s a r t f u l , seeming lack of a r t i f i c e . "C'est s i simple en e f f e t ; i l y a la s i peu de recherche, d'extraordinaire, d'emploi des grands moyens, les revers du coteau sont tenements exacts ... qu'on ne voulait pas admirer ce qu'on voit tous les jours ... ." Dauger, "Revue des Beaux Arts," Le Pays (4 aout 1849), s.p. 50 I t was t h i s r u r a l refuge of peace and harmony desired by Parisians that the c r i t i c F. de Lagenevais dwelt upon i n his review i n the Revue des Deux Mondes: A v o i r 1*extension plus grande que prend chaque annee l e paysage, on d i r a i t qu'un besoin de sensations fraiches, une sorte de s o i f de jeunesse porte l a generation a c t u e l l e a chercher un refuge dans l e calme et dans l e paix de l a nature. Toute oeuvre impregnee d'une sorte de l'odeur des champs, est sur d'etre l a bienvenue. C-lftft c e Qui a r r i v e a l ' i d y l l e de Mile Rosa Bonheur. Within the context of the c r i t i c a l discourse, de Lagenevais' words acquire a new depth. The tendencies i n Rosa Bonheur's painting toward the production of an ' i d y l l e ' seem to be welcomed as much by the c r i t i c s as by the general public, and i t i s the c r i t i c s ' reading of Plowing i n the Nivernais within the context of truth to nature that evokes the existence of a timeless, stable, harmonious countryside i n the region of Nivernais. The c r i t i c a l discourse issuing from the Salon of 1849 contains a second type of language of enclosure. This also functions i n a way which locates Bonheur's Plowing i n the  Nivernais within a conceptual framework supportive of t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l values and s t a s i s , while further d i s s o l v i n g Nivernais' problematic h i s t o r i c a l r e a l i t y as a s i t e f o r r u r a l insurrection i n 1848 and 1849. This language used by the c r i t i c s to speak about Bonheur's r u r a l landscape as well as about the a r t i s t herself i s emphatically linked to the issue of gender i n society at t h i s date. Gendered discourse C r i t i c s from both the r i g h t and the l e f t place Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais i n a discourse which i s F. de Lagenevais (Blaze de Bury), "Salon de 1849," Revue des Deux Mondes (15 aout 1849): 559. 51 gendered i n i t s construction. Such discourse functions to construct a separate category, apart from the mainstream, of 'women's a r t . ' Through the constitu t i o n of t h i s category, the a r t i s t Bonheur and her production i s grouped with other a r t i s t s who are women, and with t h e i r production. This characterization by the c r i t i c s i n regard to Rosa Bonheur's painting has the e f f e c t of n u l l i f y i n g Bonheur's p a r t i c u l a r i t y and str i p p i n g her work of i t s underlying richness of h i s t o r i c a l s i g n i f i c a t i o n . In t h i s manner, •women's work' becomes i d e n t i f i e d with the conservative i d e o l o g i c a l values attached to French mid-nineteenth century society's consti t u t i o n of the respectable bourgeois feminine 117 i d e n t i t y . Thus the gendered discourse used by c r i t i c s reviewing Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais forms one of the ways i n which the p o t e n t i a l l y inflammatory subject of the r u r a l landscape i n 1849 i s made to evoke a conservative reading. From t h i s evidence, i t appears that i n Rosa Bonheur's case, c r i t i c s from both the r i g h t and the l e f t met on the central ground of gendered d i s c o u r s e 1 1 8 i n discussing Many, many c r i t i c s proposed the notion of women's a f f i n i t y to non-heroic subjects and small size format i n the reviews accompanying the Salon of 1849. This idea was naturalized by frequent reference to i t s supposed biological basis. The la t t e r made woman's ideologically subordinate role in mid-nineteenth century society a rationalised one. This manipulation of women's ideological position circumscribed their production and reception. Providing an example of th i s i s Paul Devoir's review i n the right learning Revue Universelle. He said "Peu de femmes ont aborde la grande peinture avec succes: ce q u ' i l leur faut a e l l e s , ce sont les petites pages, avec de pet i t s personnages finement touches, mis en action dans de petites scenes d'interieur, animees par de p e t i t s sentiments. Dans ce genre re s t r a i n t , mais qui n'est pas sans charme non plus, e l l e s reussisent plus surement;, parce que leurs q u a l i t e , natureUes les y rendent eminimment propres." Devoir l e t his readers know that biology was at the bottom of a l l t h i s . Mme. Calamatta, a landscapist, was able to render her ethereal subjects because of her 'feminine' hands: Devoir said on th i s subject "Les deux sujets ... du Matin et du Soir. sont peut etre ce que la main delicate d'une femme a jamais trace de plus beau ... ." Devoir, Salon de 1849," Revue Universelle ( j u i l l e t 1849): 8. 1 1 7 S e e p.2, n.2. 118 T.J. Clark says of the c r i t i c s i n 1851 that "... they share to a certain extent a class identity, many of them on the fringes of the old or Napoleonic aristocracy, members of the ' l i b e r a l professions. 1 Eleven of the c r i t i c s carried the a r i s t o c r a t i c or pseudo-aristocratic prefix 'de'. The rest were impeccably bourgeois, except those who were di l e t t a n t e landowners l i k e Sabatier-Ungher. What matters i s the curious rep e t i t i v e rhythm of "Salon' after 'Salon,' the common structure of likes and d i s l i k e s , the agreed language in which the objections are framed ... ." Clark's observation seems to offer a reason based on social structure for the c r i t i c s ' very common terms of discussion in relatio n to gender i n 1849. Clark, 136. 52 her work, j u s t as p o l i t i c i a n s or apologists f o r the r i g h t and the l e f t wished to envision the r u r a l landscape - i n t h i s instance, that of Nivernais - within t r a d i t i o n a l (though mythic) metaphors of unceasing plenitude, peace, and order. In 1849, these constructions of 'woman' and 'nature* then seem to s i m i l a r l y b e l i e a p o l i t i c i z a t i o n demanding that both 'woman' and 'the peasant' (as part of the r u r a l landscape) be ordered under the gaze of an ultimately p a t r i a r c h a l ideology. Rosa Bonheur's positioning i n t h i s context i s doubly 'signed,' as an a r t i s t she i s a woman and a painter of r u r a l landscapes. Several of the reviews displaying a gendered discourse r e f e r to a r t i s t i c production by Rosa Bonheur i n terms of what they see as the Republic's p o s i t i v e attitude toward fostering the i n d i v i d u a l . The c r i t i c 'Courtois' i n the paper Le Corsaire (part of 'le presse l e g i t i m i s t e ' ) 1 1 9noted i n the introductory portion of his Salon review that the Republican government promoted the p r i n c i p l e of unlimited l i b e r t y i n both society and art. He remarked that t h i s era displayed more women than at any other time active i n various forms of creative production, saying "jamais a aucune epoque on ne v i t autant de femmes marquantes dans les . 120 l e t t r e s , en peinture, en musique et meme en sculpture." Yet t h i s comment by 'Courtois' does not indicate h i s approval of such l i b e r t y . The implication of i t i s that t h i s special grouping of women as defined by him must be studied as e n t i t i e s unto themselves i n the Second Republican era. 'Courtois' a d d i t i o n a l l y introduced the courtly concept The Chart res catalogue refers to Le Corsaire as part of " l a presse l e g i t i m i s t e . " It says about the l e g i t i m i s t s ' identity that "Sous la Seconde Republique, les leg i t i m i s t e s , par dela leurs d i v i s i o n s , esperent toujours une restauration des Bourbons. Regroupes au sein d'associations, bien implantes dans I'administration, t i r e n t leurs principaux revenus de la rente fonciere, i l s occupent toujours une position important en France, principalement dans le domain a r t i s t i q u e . " Chartres, 60, 66. •Courtois,' "Beaux Arts-Salon de 1849," Le Corsaire (30 j u i n 1849): s.p. 53 of 'gallantry' which undermined any notion of t a l e n t i n his assessment of a r t i s t s such as Rosa Bonheur. To t h i s e f f e c t Courtois stated " ... chez l e peuple repute l e plus galant du monde c i v i l i s e , ce qui l e moins couter c'est l'oeuvre 121 d'une femme ... . " T h e c r i t i c named Rosa Bonheur as the woman producing the best painting i n the Salon insofar as public opinion was concerned, but t h i s declaration rings with a hollow tone when i t s positioning within a gendered discourse i s taken into consideration. F i n a l l y , though 'Courtois' said of Rosa Bonheur and her r u r a l landscape that "c'est 1'emancipation de l a femme par l e ta l e n t , " 1 2 2 a e subsequently undermined t h i s proclamation of t a l e n t by enclosing i t with mention of another, s p e c i f i c a l l y named woman a r t i s t . 'Courtois' stated " M i l l e pardons aux porte haut-de-chausses, mais c'est encore une femme qui l'emporte 123 dans l a miniature, Mme. Herbelin." The a r t i s t Mme. Herbelin produced within a format generally recognized as appropriate to woman's production, that of the miniature. 'Courtois' praised Mme. Herbelin for her accomplishment i n t h i s form, thereby r e i n f o r c i n g with t h i s example which follows h i s discussion of Bonheur the notion of women's art as a separate category. 'Courtois' also said of Mme. Herbelin's miniature that i t should not be c r i t i c i z e d f o r i t s depiction of the body since women did not study i n l i f e classes: "Nous abandonnons a l a c r i t i q u e l e dessin des bras 124 et des mains, les femmes n'etudiant pas l'anatomie ... ."-"-" His comment further separates t h i s woman painter and, by implication, Rosa Bonheur with whom he has grouped Mme. Herbelin, from male practice by making the observation that 1 2 1 i b i d . 1 2 2 i b i d . 1 2 3 •Courtois,• "Beaux Arts-Salon de 1840," Le Corsaire (30 j u i n 1849): s.p. 1 2 4 Ibid. 54 the education of women a r t i s t s i s both d i f f e r e n t and lesser than that of male a r t i s t s . Though •Courtois' i n i t i a l l y declared that his subject was the emancipation of women i n the Republican era, h i s enclosure of Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais within a gendered discourse has a l i m i t i n g e f f e c t , circumscribing her painting's worth, and undermining the seeming optimism of his introductory statement. By grouping 'women a r t i s t s ' i n 1849 and r e f e r r i n g to them as 'remarkable,' he marginalized rather than honoured t h e i r achievement. A review by a c r i t i c named Louis Desnoyer i n Le  S i e c l e 1 2 5 a l s o spoke about production by women a r t i s t s i n the Republican years as evidence of an age of emancipation. But t h i s writer who spoke from the platform of a l e f t leaning newspaper, c l e a r l y grouped art by women under t h i s d i s t i n c t i v e category and at the same time derided the s o c i a l aspirations of women i n the p o l i t i c i z e d groups i n a tone which i s openly s a r c a s t i c . Beginning by saying "Une chose digne de remarque, c'est que ce sont l e s femmes qui 1•emportent cette f o i s , du moins dans certains genres. L'art tombe en quenouille," Desnoyers set up the gendered enclosure of women's a r t . The reference to production by 127 women as belonging to " l a quenouille" or the d i s t a f f Referring to the status of l e Siecle in 1847, the Chartres catalogue c a l l s i t "un journal de I'opposition republicaine." Chartres, 37. 1 2 6 Louis Desnoyers, "Salon de 1849," Le Siecle (27 j u i l l e t 1849): s.p. 127 In connection with the use of the word ' d i s t a f f as i t relates to t r a d i t i o n a l peasant economy, John Horne c i t e s a study by R. Thabault i n 1850. It said " A l l the evidence [in 1850] goes to show that the peasant farmers continued to l i v e , as far as possible, within a semi-enclosed economy, purchasing as few things as possible ... . People s t i l l spin yarn on the d i s t a f f ; a l l linen came from local home weavers ... ." Horne, 23. The Larousse dictionary gives the following information related to the d i s t a f f and spinning as gendered material: "1. A c l e f t s t a f f about 3 feet long, on which, i n the ancient mode of spinning, wool or flax was wound. 2. Used as the type of women's work ME.; hence, for the female sex, female authority; also, the female branch of a family; a female heir. St. D i s t a f f ' s Day, the day after the feast of the Epiphany on which day (Jan. 7) women resumed their spinning after the holidays." Larousse, 1494. In these d e f i n i t i o n s , the connection between women, their a c t i v i t y i n gender defined 55 further entrenched work by women within a conservative, t r a d i t i o n a l l y bound r o l e . This expression r e f e r s to the a c t i v i t y of spinning, c a r r i e d out only by women i n forms of society with gender defined ro l e s . Such a c t i v i t y was p a r t i c u l a r l y appropriate to the countryside i n 1849 rather than urban areas where spinning was the exception. I t c a l l s up c r a f t making rather than a r t . Desnoyers then openly mocked the aspirations of the p o l i t i c i z e d women's groups. Naming the 'citoyennes' Doria, 128 Niboyet and Deroin - women prominent i n these associations either as leaders or publishers of writing advancing the s o c i a l cause of women - the c r i t i c commented on what he ascribed as t h e i r " f o o l i s h " notions with an acerbic wit. He began: "Toucherions-nous a cette ere d'emancipation predite par l a citoyenne Doria, l a citoyenne Niboyet et l a citoyenne Deroin, ou l e s femmes sont completement affranchies de 1 • i n f e r i o r i t e qui pese sur leur destinee sociale? ou tandis que l e s hommes s 1occuperont a leur tour des soins du menage, feront de l a couture et preparent l a b o u i l l i e de moutards, ces dames exerceront l e s fonctions de representantes, de c o n s e i l l e r s d'Etat, d'avocats, d'hussieres, de prefetes, de jugeuses et de garderesses champetres? Nous ne savons, mais, en v e r i t e , l e Salon de 1849 est de nature k i n s p i r e r de serieuses reflexions sur ce p o i n t . " 1 2 9 Desnoyers thus joked about the p o l i t i c a l goals of women working for female emancipation, the projection of men taking on domestic labours, and the production by a r t i s t s who are women. After t h i s juxtaposition, Desnoyers discussed i n p a r t i c u l a r the r u r a l landscape by Rosa Bonheur, society, t r a d i t i o n a l rural society, and the influence of the Church are interwoven to connect women and conservative or tr a d i t i o n a l values. 128 See footnote 37 for the i d e n t i t i e s of Niboyet and Deroin. 1 2 9 L o u i s Desnoyer, "Salon de 1849," Le Siecle (27 j u i l l e t 1849): s.p. 56 and what might at f i r s t appear to be praise i s soon revealed as c r i t i c i s m of her work. He started by admitting how prominent Plowing i n the Nivernais was amongst the works at the Salon: "Le tableau de Mile Rosa Bonheur est sans contredit c e l u i de tous qui obtient l e plus de succes aux yeux de l a foule et meme a ceux d'un tres grand nombre 130 d'amateurs." But i n perhaps the most scathing comment of his review, Desnoyers attributed Bonheur's success to courtly 'galantry' on the public's part, to the charm i m p l i c i t i n her name, and also her a b i l i t y . " E l l e l e d o i t a son merite r e a l , a l a galanterie du public et a 1'influence 131 charmante de son double nom." Through t h i s gendered discourse, Desnoyers l i k e 'Courtois' marginalizes Bonheur the a r t i s t and her production, carrying them fa r from the state of emancipation i n i t i a l l y referred to. Upon examination of reviews such as those by 'Courtois' and Desnoyers, i t i s c l e a r that the references by Stanton, Boime and Ashton to Rosa Bonheur's strong, h e r o i c a l l y i n c l i n e d individualism and independent stance ( a l l of these things a c t u a l l y being part of t h e i r construction) are discrepant with how the c r i t i c s a c t u a l l y placed her i n r e l a t i o n to i n d i v i d u a l freedom i n 1849. In Le National, another l e f t leaning publication, the c r i t i c 'Pr. H.' 1 3 2also placed Rosa Bonheur and her r u r a l landscape within a gendered discourse and so evinced the same s o c i a l attitudes toward a r t i s t s who were women as the r i g h t leaning publications. 'Pr. H.' said 1 3 0 i b i d . 1 3 1 i b i d . 1 3 2 T . J . Clark mentions a 'P. Haussard' writing in Le National. In footnote 27, Clark, 185. Clark also defines Haussard as a c r i t i c of the l e f t . Clark, 135. The Chartres catalogue defines Le National as an "organe de I'opposition republicaine" i n reference to i t s stance in 1842. Chartres, 37. 57 "Parmi nos dames a r t i s t e s , Mile Rosa Bonheur aura l'un des succes populaires et incontestantes du Salon. Son attelage nivernais (Salle 23) en est digne. Mme. E. Appoil ne nous avait jamais montre un art aussi eminent dans l a peinture des f l e u r s . Le Patre, de Mile. Cappelaere est un p e t i t morceau f o r t distingue." Though 'Pr. H.• praised Rosa Bonheur's work, h i s approval of her work i s modified by h i s practice of placing i t within a ce r t a i n group, that of *nos dames a r t i s t e s . 1 In the paper La Republique. the c r i t i c ' P.D.L. ' 1 3 4 e n c l o s e s Rosa Bonheur within another variant of gendered discourse. That i s , he i s o l a t e s Bonheur and the discussion of her painting to her case alone against the seemingly amorphous mass of women as a generalized whole. Observing the q u a l i t y of " ... beaucoup plus de vigueur ..." i n Plowing i n the Nivernais. the c r i t i c 'P.D.L.' then sets t h i s against painting practice and the handling of paint by women. He stated that Plowing  in the Nivernais had " ... beaucoup plus de vigueur ... 13 qu'on n'en trouve ordinairement dans l a main d'une femme." 'P.D.L.' with t h i s remark both holds Rosa Bonheur's painting apart from the usual work of women while enclosing i t within women's production by commenting on i t as included i n t h i s category. The conservative papers Revue des Deux Mondes and La  Presse. the r i g h t leaning c r i t i c s F. de Lagenevais and Theophile Gautier whose writing appeared i n these respective t i t l e s , both engaged i n a gendered discourse i n respect to I J J , P r . H.,' "Salon de 1849," Le National (26 j u i n 1849): s.p. La Republique's subheading to i t s t i t l e i s "journal fond6 l e 24 fev r i e r 1848" indicating a republican status. 1 3 5'P.D.L.,' "Salon de 1849," La Republique (1 j u i l e t t 1849): s.p. The Chartres catalogue groups the following papers p o l i t i c a l l y : "des cri t i q u e s de journaux du juste-milieu (La Presse. L' 11 lustration. Le Moniteur Universel. l a Revue des Deux Mondes)." Chartres, 56. 58 Rosa Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais. Aspects of t h e i r reviews u t i l i z e d t h i s categorization within the confines of the 'rural myth,' which i n de Lagenevais' words expressed the motif of the countryside as an ' i d y l l e . ' Both F. de Lagenevais and Theophile Gautier compared Bonheur's painting to w r iting by the author George Sand. They made the s p e c i f i c comparison of works located i n the countryside, that i s , Bonheur's Plowing i n the Nivernais to Sand's r u s t i c novel La Mare au Diable (1846). F. de Lagenevais asserted "Mile Bonheur d o i t certainment avoir l u l e prologue d'un p e t i t roman publie i l n'y a pas longtemps par un eloquent e c r i v a i n , et ou se trouve depeinte avec une rare magic de s t y l e une scene absplument sembable a c e l l e qu'elle a c h o i s i e . " 1 3 7 Sand, who owned a large estate i n the French countryside, wrote novels such as La Mare au Diable characterised by an i d y l l i c , harmonious view of country l i f e and a peaceful peasantry involved i n productive labour. The c r i t i c de Lagenevais reacted negatively toward those portions of Plowing i n the Nivernais which he f e l t d i d not render the r u r a l landscape as p o e t i c a l l y as Sand's written representation. Lamenting Bonheur's treatment of the plow furrows and the d r i v e r s of the oxen, the c r i t i c said that unlike Sand's, les s i l l o n s de Mile Rosa Bonheur's ne fument pas; ... et a l a place de 1'enfant a l a chevelure ebouriffe et couvert d'un peau d'agneau, e l l e met un v a l e t de charrue i n s i g n i f i a n t . Decidement l a poesie f a i t t o r t a l a peinture. Viewing these more i n d i v i d u a l l y expressed elements as f a i l e d poeticism, de Lagenevais seemed to regard them as interrupting the coherence (or truth) of what he saw as F. de Lagenevais (Blaze de Bury), "Le Salon de 1849," Revue des Deux Mondes (15 aout 1849): s.p. 1 3 8 Ibid. 59 Bonheur's r u r a l ' i d y l l e . ' Theophile Gautier, the other c r i t i c comparing Bonheur's painting to Sand's writing, expressed t h i s idea through the attri b u t e s pertaining to the ru r a l myth. For example, Gautier said "Ce tableau, par sa p l a c i d i t e forte, par sa solemnite rustigue, nous a rappele les premiers pages de La Mare au Diable. cette admirable 139 bucolique de Georges Sand." He buttressed these terms of likeness within a conservative mode by r e f e r r i n g to Bonheur's oxen i n league with t r a d i t i o n a l concepts, saying they have " ... quelque chose de p r i m i t i f , d'antique, de re l i g i e u x ... . " 1 4 0 Gautier's gendered discourse regarding Bonheur i s thus further enfolded i n other universalized l e v e l s of description which a d d i t i o n a l l y carry consideration of the a r t i s t and her r u r a l landscape away from h i s t o r i c r e a l i t y and away from the context of a r t i s t i c production i n 1849. Reasons for Bonheur's reception (1849): a h i s t o r i c a l reading Upon investigation, the issues of landscape and gender in the p o l i t i c a l context of 1848 and 1849 appear to have had a strongly p o s i t i v e mediating e f f e c t on the reception of Rosa Bonheur's r u r a l landscape painting Plowing i n the  Nivernais at the Salon of 1849 as well as suggesting reasons for her subsequent patronage under the conservative Second Empire of Louis Napoleon. Landscape painting had gained popular appeal i n the a r t market of the early Republican years, 1848 and 1849; i t s potential for reference to individualism was strengthened by Dutch representation's new prominence. But more s p e c i f i c reasons made landscape a highly s i g n i f i c a n t subject for a r t i s t i c representation at , , > yTheophile Gautier, "Salon de 1849," La Presse (10 aout 1849): s.p. 1 4 0 Ibid. 60 t h i s p a r t i c u l a r time. Afte r the bloodshed of the 'June Days' i n 1848, urban dwellers t i r e d of p o l i t i c a l insurrection and the l e f t transported i t s struggle with the ri g h t to the new arena of the countryside. At the same time, the countryside became a source of anxiety to urban dwellers, who feared peasant anarchy. Parisians desired r e l i e f from upheaval and the 'rural myth' of a calm and ordered r u r a l landscape served to placate t h e i r fears. Yet in s p e c i f i c areas such as Nivernais, j u s t the opposite was true. Peasant violence erupted as a r e s u l t of discontent with impoverished circumstances and growing Republican sentiment. Rosa Bonheur's representation of Nivernais i n 1848 and 1849 evokes the 'rural myth' through her subject of peaceful, productive labour i n that p a r t i c u l a r region and through her means of representation. The l a t t e r i s la r g e l y academic i n orientation though traces of her negotiation with a new, modern language for landscape painting enable a reading i n terms of republican emphasis on individualism. Bonheur's evocation of the 'rural myth' i s bolstered by the p a r t i c u l a r mode of discussion by c r i t i c s . F i r s t of a l l , t h e i r discourse describes Plowing i n the Nivernais i n terms of truth to the myth, though c o n f l i c t amongst c r i t i c s from the l e f t and r i g h t occurs over the d e t a i l s of t h i s . Secondly, t h e i r reviews display a markedly gendered outlook on Bonheur's r u r a l landscape which has the function of enclosing her work within a nonproblematic, safe p a l a t a b i l i t y and of sealing i t o f f within the ru b r i c of •women's work' from painting i n the Salon as a whole. I t i s thus apparent that not only the context of the art market and France's growing p o l i t i c a l conservatism, but also the subject and i t s s i t e , the means of representation, and the pa r t i c u l a r terms of description employed by the c r i t i c s , 61 intersected to p o s i t i v e l y mediate the reception of Rosa Bonheur's r u r a l landscape painting Plowing i n the Nivernais at the Salon of 1849. These s o c i a l and h i s t o r i c a l factors rather than a heroic image of the a r t i s t as constructed i n recent accounts are shown to be responsible f o r Rosa Bonheur's success at t h i s s p e c i f i c time. 6 3 F i g . 2. Rosa Bonheur, Plowing i n the N i v e r n a i s , P a r i s , Musee, D'Orsay. 64 F i g . 3 The S o a n e Book o f H o u r s . S e p t e m b e r -O c t o b e r C a l e n d a r . SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY T h i s b i b l i o g r a p h y i s composed o f two s e c t i o n s : S e c t i o n I l i s t s n i n e t e e n t h century S a lon reviews and S e c t i o n I I l i s t s books, a r t i c l e s , and l e t t e r s read f o r t h i s t h e s i s . I Nineteenth century Salon reviews; "Salon de 1849" A c q u i r e r , H i p p o l y t e . La L i b e r t e (3,9, 16 j u i l l e t 1849), s.p. Arnoux, J . J . L'Ordre (16 j u i n 1849), s.p. C a i l l e u x , Leon. Le Temps (20, 28, 29 j u i n ; 4, 13, 15, 24 j u i l l e t ; 15, 28 aout 1849), s.p. ' C o u r t o i s . ' Le C o r s a i r e (30 j u i n 1849), s.p. Dauger, A l f r e d . Le Pays (15 j u i l l e t ; 4 aout 1849), s.p. D e l e c l u z e , E . J . J o u r n a l des Debats (16, 25 j u i n ; 14, 17 j u i l l e t ; 22 aout 1849), s.p. 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