Mindfulness and Art: A Stag

Oil painting of a stag in a forest
Rosa Bonheur (1822–1899), A Stag, 1893. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland.Credit

Take 5 minutes

Spend 5 minutes sitting in silence, looking at this painting.

Some things to reflect on while looking in silence:

  • How do you feel while looking at the painting?
  • What do you notice? What is your eye drawn to?
    • The artist's lines and marks
    • The composition
    • The light
    • The shadows
    • The colours
    • The forms and shapes
    • The subject
  • What is the mood and atmosphere?
  • Why do you think the artist created the painting?
Painting of a stag
Rosa Bonheur's signature on her painting

About the painting

Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899), A Stag, 1893

Bonheur had the distinction of becoming the first woman artist to receive the cross of the Légion d'Honneur, in 1865. She was an animalière (an artist who specialised in depicting animals), and observed her subjects both in nature and by visiting abbatoirs to study their anatomy. Because dresses were restrictive, but women were forbidden to wear trousers according to a decree of 1800, Bonheur succeeded in obtaining a police permit to wear men's clothing while she worked.

Explore more