Art is a Tyrant: The Unconventional Life of Rosa Bonheur (Paperback)

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Art is a Tyrant: The Unconventional Life of Rosa Bonheur By Catherine Hewitt Cover Image

Art is a Tyrant: The Unconventional Life of Rosa Bonheur (Paperback)

$18.95


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Staff Reviews


Rosa's struggle & persistent endeavor to become one of the most successful & outspoken woman artist in the 19th century  makes for one of the most intriguing biographies I’ve ever read. 
This biography made me as the French say: 
buveur d’encre, a drinker of ink

— From Shannon's Picks

WINNER OF THE FRANCO-BRITISH SOCIETY LITERARY AWARD 2020

'Art is a Tyrant recounts [Bonheur's] life with no little brio.' Michael Prodger, The Times Books of the Year 2020

'A diligently researched, beautifully produced and insistently sympathetic biography.' Kathryn Hughes, Guardian

A new biography of the wildly unconventional 19th-century animal painter and gender equality pioneer Rosa Bonheur, from the author of the acclaimed Mistress of Paris and Renoir's Dancer.


Rosa Bonheur was the very antithesis of the feminine ideal of 19th-century society. She was educated, she shunned traditional 'womanly' pursuits, she rejected marriage - and she wore trousers. But the society whose rules she spurned accepted her as one of their own, because of her genius for painting animals.

She shared an intimate relationship with the eccentric, self-styled inventor Nathalie Micas, who nurtured the artist like a wife. Together Rosa, Nathalie and Nathalie's mother bought a chateau and with Rosa's menagerie of animals the trio became one of the most extraordinary households of the day.

Catherine Hewitt's compelling new biography is an inspiring evocation of a life lived against the rules.

Catherine Hewitt studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Her previous books with Icon are The Mistress of Paris (2015), 'an enthralling story, told with both conviction and sympathy' (Observer), and Renoir's Dancer (2017), described as 'fascinating' by France magazine.
Product Details ISBN: 9781785786594
ISBN-10: 1785786598
Publisher: Icon Books
Publication Date: November 5th, 2020
Pages: 496
Language: English