The Devil's Mare Au Diable Analysis

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The impact of the revolution was felt in all of the arts, as most artists and intellectuals entertained sentiments that were socialist, and the glorification of labour became a fashionable motif dating back to the beginning of the 19th century. Rural landscape was seen as superior to the noisome, polluted, and politically restless city life. This idealization of nature and the provincial against the urban was echoed in literary works as well. One such example being George Sands’s Mare au Diable (The Devil’s Pool), published in 1846 and said to have been read to Rosa Bonheur while she was working on the commission. The pastoral novel describes the lives of the peasants and the cycles of nature in detail and features a passage on a scene that is said to have directly influenced Bonheur’s decision to set the animals centre stage within the commissioned painting (see Fig.2). Fig. 2 – Rosa Bonheur, Ploughing in the Nivernais, 1849. Upon completion of the painting in 1849 it was presented at the salon as a grand work, measuring 173cm in height and 260cm in length. It depicts a handful of labourers working the land with their oxen, on a calm sunny day. The background contains some rising hills above the pleasant scenery of the French countryside. However, it…show more content…
4), adequately said to have drawn inspiration from the frieze on the Parthenon. Rosa Bonheur’s ambition was not to imitate however, but to interpret. Interested in perfecting her drawing of horses, she had studied their anatomy both from books as well as life. Visiting the horse market at Boulevard de l’Hôpital near the Asylum of La Salpêtrière twice a week while dressed in male attire in order to sketch the Percherons - which are a type of draught horse - and their handlers in action, without harassment that would have surely proceeded upon the notice of a woman in such a male dominated
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