Rosa BONHEUR (Bordeaux 1822 - Thomery 1899)
The Call of the Stag
Pastel on brown paper, laid down on board.
Signed Rosa Bonheur at the lower left.
490 x 638 mm. (19 1/4 x 25 1/8 in.)
Rosa Bonheur spent much of her career making careful studies of animals at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris and other zoos, as well as at slaughterhouses and horse fairs. (She also occasionally performed dissections at the Ecole nationale vétrinaire d’Alfort in Paris.) The artist kept several animals - including a stag named Jacques - in her menagerie at the Château de By, and made numerous studies of them, as well as from animals which had recently been shot.
This large pastel, which formerly belonged to the Swiss lawyer and politician Adolf Streuli (1868-1953), is datable to the decade of the 1890s, when Bonheur turned more towards the medium of pastel in order to create intense, luminous effects in her landscapes. Among thematically and stylistically comparable works by Bonheur is a very large pastel on canvas of A Stag and Three Doe in a Misty Mountainous Landscape, signed and dated 1897, which appeared at auction in 1985, and The King of the Forest, also dated 1897, which was sold at auction in 2007. Two similarly sizeable pastels of A Stag in the Mist and Stag and Deer, Morning Effect were both exhibited at the Galerie Georges Petit in Paris in 1897; the latter work reappeared at auction in New York in 2001.
Annie-Paule Quinsac has confirmed the attribution of this pastel to Rosa Bonheur.
Arthur Tooth and Sons Ltd., London
Acquired from them in April 1932 by Adolf Streuli, Zurich
Thence by descent until 2018.