Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Lives of Girls Who Became Famous Sarah Knowles Bolton

Rosa Bonheur

Page 1 of 6

Table Of Contents: Lives of Girls Who Became Famous

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

In a simple home in Paris could have been seen, in 1829, Raymond Bonheur and his little family,--Rosa, seven years old, August, Isadore, and Juliette. He was a man of fine talent in painting, but obliged to spend his time in giving drawing-lessons to support his children. His wife, Sophie, gave lessons on the piano, going from house to house all day long, and sometimes sewing half the night, to earn a little more for the necessities of life.

Hard work and poverty soon bore its usual fruit, and the tired young mother died in 1833. The three oldest children were sent to board with a plain woman, "La mere Catherine," in the Champs Elysees, and the youngest was placed with relatives. For two years this good woman cared for the children, sending them to school, though she was greatly troubled because Rosa persisted in playing in the woods of the Bois de Boulogne, gathering her arms full of daisies and marigolds, rather than to be shut up in a schoolroom. "I never spent an hour of fine weather indoors during the whole of the two years," she has often said since those days.

Finally the father married again and brought the children home. The two boys were placed in school, and M. Bonheur paid their way by giving drawing lessons three times a week in the institution. If Rosa did not love school, she must be taught something useful, and she was accordingly placed in a sewing establishment to become a seamstress.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

The child hated sewing, ran the needle into her fingers at every stitch, cried for the fresh air and sunshine, and finally, becoming pale and sickly, was taken back to the Bonheur home. The anxious painter would try his child once more in school; so he arranged that she should attend, with compensation met in the same way as for his boys. Rosa soon became a favorite with the girls in the Fauborg St. Antoine School, especially because she could draw such witty caricatures of the teachers, which she pasted against the wall, with bread chewed into the consistency of putty. The teachers were not pleased, but so struck were they with the vigor and originality of the drawings, that they carefully preserved the sketches in an album.

The girl was far from happy. Naturally sensitive--as what poet or painter was ever born otherwise?--she could not bear to wear a calico dress and coarse shoes, and eat with an iron spoon from a tin cup, when the other girls wore handsome dresses, and had silver mugs and spoons. She grew melancholy, neglected her books, and finally became so ill that she was obliged to be taken home.

And now Raymond Bonheur very wisely decided not to make plans for his child for a time, but see what was her natural tendency. It was well that he made this decision in time, before she had been spoiled by his well-meant but poor intentions.

Left to herself, she constantly hung about her father's studio, now drawing, now modeling, copying whatever she saw him do. She seemed never to be tired, but sang at her work all the day long.

Page 1 of 6 Previous Chapter   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Lives of Girls Who Became Famous
Sarah Knowles Bolton

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004