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Isodore Bonheur
(French, 1827 -1901 )

Isidore Bonheur was a French sculptor. Born in Bordeaux, he was the third child of Raymond Bonheur and brother of Rosa Bonheur. He studied painting at first, however, in 1849 he enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, though he made his debut at the salon the previous year. He exhibited regularly at the royal Academy and won a gold medal in 1889.

He had given up painting in favour of sculpture early on in his career, and, though noted primarily for his small animalier groups. Many of his bronzes were edited by Hippolyte Peyrol, who was his uncle by marriage. The Peyrol casts for both Rosa and Isidore Bonheur are exceptionally well sculpted, which suggests a strong working relationship between the founder and sculptor. There is little doubt that Isidore Bonheur was an acute observer of nature; his animals were not anthropomorphized, but modelled to catch movement or posture characteristic of the particular species. He achieved this most successfully with his sculptures of horses, which are usually depicted as relaxed rather than spirited, and which are among his most renowned works.


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