Anna Elizabeth Klumpke (1856-1942)

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Klumpke, In the Studios of Paris

In the Washhouse, 1888

Anna Elizabeth Klumpke was an American portrait painter from San Francisco, California. Klumpke is most known is perhaps best known for her portraits of important women such as Rosa Bonheur.

Klumpke, Rosa Bonheur, 1898

Rosa Bonheur, 1898

Klumpke’s father was a wealthy California realtor, which gave her the opportunity to seek the artistic training and education she desired. Unfortunately, Klumpke was handicapped with knee arthritis that made it difficult for her to walk. Klumpke’s mother took her to Berlin for several months of therapy and thermal bath treatments. The treatments were unsuccessful but led her mother’s decision to divorce and remain in Germany. Klumpke was sent to a German boarding school near Stuttgart and later a Swiss boarding school near Lake Geneva.

Klumpke, Catinou Knitting

Catinou Knitting

In 1877 Klumpke moved to Paris, where she became interested in studying paintings. In 1883 Klumpke began taking classes at the Academie Julian under Tony Robert-Fleury, Vuillefroy and Jules Lefebvre. Klumpke was an outstanding art student, winning several awards and showing in the Paris Salon multiple years.

Klumpke, The Red Kerchief

The Red Kerchief

When Klumpke finished school she spent a few years Boston as a painting teacher. Klumpke soon returned to Paris where she had the opportunity to meet the painter Rosa Bonheur. Klumpke greatly admired Bonheur’s work and decided to live with her in Fontainbleau, France. When Bonheur died, Klumpke inherited her estate. In honor of her great friend, Klumpke established a Rosa Bonheur museum.

Klumpke, The Breeze

The Breeze

Klumpke spent the last years of her life in San Francisco, writing her autobiography, Memoirs of an Artist. Klumpke’s paintings are now in museums and private collections across Europe and the United States. Do you think you own a painting by Anna Elizabeth Klumpke? Contact us. We are the Anna Elizabeth Klumpke experts.