Completed Continental European after 1800 9 Does this painting by Auguste-François Bonheur date from c.1850?

Topic: Execution date

Does this date from c.1850 and was it exhibited as 'Landscape with Cattle' at Lichfield House, St James's Square in 1851, in the General Exhibition of pictures by living painters of the school of all countries?

Another possibility for this picture is Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery's Cattle on Riverbank in Auvergne:

The collection does not have any information on where the painting was exhibited – but it was purchased by Sir Wilson Mappin from the Christie's sale of Sir Frederick Thorpe Mappin, 17th June 1910, lot 71 as 'Cattle in the Auvergne'.

Martin Hopkinson, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

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Kieran Owens,

In the evening edition of the Yorkshire Telegraph & Star, of Friday 17th June 1910, the report on the prices achieved, at the sale of Sir Frederick Thorpe Mappin's art collection, states that the work 'Cattle in the Auvergne' was painted by Rosa Bonheur (1822 - 1899), and not by her younger brother Auguste (1824 - 1884). It was sold for £105. No other work by Bonheur is mentioned in the report as having been offered on the day.

It could well be that the reporting journalist confused sister for brother, but if this discusion's painting is the Bonheur purchased by Sir Wilson Mappin, perhaps Christie's archive could be consulted to confirm whether or not the original describes it as being by Rosa or Auguste.

Peter Nahum,

I very much doubt such a painting would be earlier than 1850. I should think that the artist exhibited it as a recent work and the date of 1851 could be reasonably applied.

Howard Jones,

It is questioned whether this might be 'Cattle on Riverbank in Auvergne' from Blackburn Museum.
The cattle appear to be climbing up to higher ground in a mountainous landscape. It is unlikely that there is a river anywhere nearby.
The man could be a farmer or a drover calling them up to new pastures, or he could just be someone out walking.

Osmund Bullock,

Howard, I think you've misunderstood. The painting currently called 'Cattle on Riverbank in Auvergne' (and which certainly shows cattle on a river bank) is not 'from' Blackburn - that is where it is now. The question is whether it is Blackburn's painting, or the one at Sheffield we are discussing - or neither - that is the work exhibited as 'Landscape with Cattle' at Lichfield House in 1851.

Stylistically this seems closer to Rosa Bonheur than to her brother, probably painted around the mid-1850s or later. Could Sheffield Museums please comment on the attribution to Auguste-Francois Bonheur? Given the press review of Sir Frederick Thorpe Mappin's collection sale referenced above by Kieren Owens - as well as Rosa B's popularity in Britain from the second half of 1850s onwards - it seems this might simply be a case of mis-attribution. Incidentally, there is a centenary exhibition of Rosa Bonheur's work planned for 2022 at the Musee des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux.

Marcie Doran,

An article in the ‘Sheffield Independent’ of February 10, 1876, provides a detailed description of a “large” work by A. Bonheur, “brother to the famous lady of that name”, that was owned by Mr. F.T. Mappin. It seems to be this Art UK painting. I have attached the extract and full page.

I think a typo in the published name of the painting led to confusion about the attribution. ‘The Scotsman’ of June 18, 1910, noted that “Castle in the Auvergne” [sic] by Auguste Bonheur was sold in the auction sale of paintings owned by the late Sir Frederick Thorpe Mappin. I have attached the extract and full page.

Other works with the title “Landscape with Cattle” by Rosa Bonheur do not seem to be painted by the same hand as the Art UK work we are discussing:
- at The Hepworth, Wakefield
- at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
- on Artnet

Jacob Simon,

This discussion, "Does this painting by Auguste-François Bonheur date from c.1850?", is now entering its sixth year. Two matters under discussion: artist and date.

ARTIST: While the attribution to Auguste, rather than his more famous sister, Rosa, has been questioned (03/08/2020), the fact that the painting was clearly given to Auguste in the press in 1876 (see above) is significant because this report dates to the lifetime of both artists. On this basis I suggest that we should maintain Auguste as the artist.

DATE: Peter's suggestion (01/02/2018) is that a date of 1851 could be reasonably applied. In the absence of documentation, I suspect that this is as far as we can carry the discussion unless Frances as group leader thinks there is further mileage.