Forward Continental European after 1800 6 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


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.

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