The idea to create an association “Les Amis de Rosa Bonheur”, came to Eliane Foulquié, the current president, when she took up residence in Thomery. She had already a long history of cultural animation, and it is with this experience that she visited the Workshop of Rosa Bonheur, in the hamlet of By, in Thomery.
Though -until then- she had not been particularly attracted by animal art Eliane Foulquié, recognized the exceptional aspect of the painter’s work and personality: “The discovery of this sympathetic house (the bell that sounds when you push the door); the atmosphere in the workshop: the palette, the hat, the glasses, the boots; the discovery of the strong personality of the artist: her demand for freedom, her humour in family relations, a life’s work loving animals; the discovery of the works themselves
: The majesty of the lion on the engravings, the portraits which welcome you lovingly, the scattered sculptures, the drawings hung here and there … ”
Eliane Foulquié learned how this work is forgotten today, and decided to put her energy into repairing this injustice. In 2005 she created an association whose aim was to promote the work of Rosa Bonheur, the nineteenth-century painter, and to publicize her paintings, her life and the places where she lived.
Since then, the Association has made every effort to maintain and develop this interest through the organisation of conferences, visits to museums or exhibitions and trips to places where the artist spent time and which retained some memory of her sojourn.