Rosa Bonheur was born into an artistic family and moved to Paris with her family at a young age. Her father trained her as an artist, with a curriculum that, from the beginning, had a strong emphasis on animals. In 1855, she finished her monumental painting 'The Horse Fair', which brought her international fame, particularly in England, where she was celebrated for her representations of animals in nature. Indeed, her success was such that, in 1860, she was able to purchase the château de By, Thomery, where she could be close to the nature that inspired her. She quickly commissioned a custom-designed studio from the architect Jules Saulnier, and it was in this studio that she received Napoleon III and the Emperess Eugénie, who bestowed upon her the Legion of Honour - the first time it had been awarded to a woman.
Recently re-opened, the château de By is preserved and presented much as it would have appeared during the forty years Bonheur lived and worked here. The studio is still dominated by bric-a-brac and objects collected by the artist, while the 'Salle des esquisses' displays works in progress, offering an insight into Bonheur's process and technique. The château is still set within extensive gardens, and offers visitors a tea shop as well as a range of temporary exhibitions, seminars and events.
12 rue Rosa Bonheur
(+33)6 71 82 29 32
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Visits must be booked in advance.
Daily, 10am - 12pm, 2pm - 4pm