The Horse Fair

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Rosa Bonheur. The Horse Fair (1852–55). Oil on canvas, 96 1/4 x 199 1/2 in. (244.5 x 506.7 cm) (Metropolitan Museum of Art; 87.25).

The Horse Fair is an oil on canvas painting by Rosa Bonheur, begun in 1852. It was first exhibited in 1853 at the Paris Salon and reworked until completed in 1855. It has been in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York since 1887, when it was donated by Cornelius Vanderbilt II.

Bonheur painted The Horse Fair from a series of sketches she had made at the Paris horse market on the boulevard de l'Hôpital. She attended the market twice weekly for a year and a half, dressed as a man to receive less attention. After its showing at the Paris Salon of 1853, the painting subsequently was shown throughout Europe and the USA. It was the most acclaimed of Bonheur's works, and is described by the Metropolitan Museum as one of its best known works of art.

Painter Molly Luce claimed that The Horse Fair was the first work which influenced her.[1]


  1. ^ Eleanor Tufts; National Museum of Women in the Arts (U.S.); International Exhibitions Foundation (1987). American women artists, 1830–1930. International Exhibitions Foundation for the National Museum of Women in the Arts. ISBN 978-0-940979-01-7. 

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