Auguste Bonheur(1824 - French1884)
Born in Bordeaux, Auguste moved to Paris with his family in 1829. Like his sister Rosa, he early demonstrated skill in drawing, first training with his father and then in 1848 with the master Paul Delaroche at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. His father expected him to earn a living teaching art, but Auguste preferred a career as a professional painter. He first specialised in portrait and genre painting, switching in 1852 to animal subjects. He moved permanently from Paris to Magny-les-Hameaux in the countryside in 1865, he became a regular exhibitor there and at the Bordeaux Salon for the rest of his life. Auguste received a 3rd class medal in the Salon of 1852, a 2nd class medal in 1859, a 1st class medal in 1861, a rappel in 1863 and he was named Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French Government in 1867. He also enjoyed extensive patronage in England where he showed at the Royal Academy in 1857,1873 and 1874 and in London exhibitions organized by Ernest Gambart, art dealer for Rosa and the family.
Auguste received favourable reviews throughout his career. Critics praised not only the anatomical precision of his animals, but also his remarkable landscapes, for which he is best known today.