Watch: The Rosa Bonheur Case Part 2: Lesbian erasure


rosa bonheur lesbian erasure
Image: The Rosa Bonheur Case, Carole Cassier and Anna Polonyi

Part 2 of Carole Cassier and Anna Polonyi’s wonderful documentary web series on the 19th-century superstar of French art, Rosa Bonheur, is now available to watch. In the second episode, Carole and Anna examine lesbian erasure.

Want to go straight to the vid? Then scroll down.

Like to watch Part 1 first? Click here.

The most famous female painter of the 19th century was, according to Wikipedia, openly lesbian. It’s difficult to disagree.

Rosa Bonheur lived with Nathalie Micas, her first female partner, for over 40 years. The relationship only ended with Nathalie’s death. Devastated by the enforced separation, Rosa stopped working and became a recluse. However, another woman eventually came into her life. Anna Klumpke dragged Rosa out of her depression and reignited both her passion for life and her creativity.

On her death, Rosa Bonheur bequeathed her entire estate to Anna and was buried with Nathalie Micah. Years later, Anna joined the pair in the same cemetery.

Lesbian erasure

Yet, there are those who would deny Rosa’s sexuality because no ‘definitive’ evidence exists. As Carole Cassier and Anna Polonyi ask in The Rosa Bonheur Case, what do they want — a sex tape?

In Episode 2 of their web series, Carole and Anna examine the modern erasure of Rosa’s lesbianism. A French historian recently published a ‘novel’ gifting the great painter a passionate heterosexual love affair. A love affair that proven historical facts clearly demonstrate never happened.

I’m a big fan of The Rosa Bonheur Case. Journalists Carole Cassier and Anna Polonyi bring both passion and professional skill to a witty and informative production that forensically dissects attempts to steal the artist’s identity from her.

(Click through to YouTube to subscribe for future episodes.)

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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