There’s something truly interesting about this vintage drawing. We have a fierce-looking man, fully armed to protect his family, animals and farm. However, he sits astride a horse that somehow has a sweet and charming look about it.

Lovely Drawing by Rosa Bonheur

This interesting drawing is one of many that Leon Roger-Miles (1859-1928) included in his 1900 work Atelier Rosa Bonheur. Bonheur was a French artist who is most remembered for her drawings and paintings of animals. She was also a bit of a trailblazer. She was a professional artist when it was extremely unfashionable for women to work outside of the home.

Along with her wonderful art, conversations about Bonheur often discuss her choice of apparel. She often would wear men’s clothing – particularly pants. She preferred pants to the long skirts women of her day often wore. They made it easier to move among animals and work with them.

Public Domain Horseman Drawing

Every time I look at this public domain horseman drawing, I see something new. But, I feel drawn to the eyes of the horse. There’s a sweetness there. And, yet, clearly this is a big strong animal.

The rider is heavily armed and clearly ready for a fight. The horseman reminds me of a conquistador. His apparel, from the top of the head to the heals of his boots, appears Spanish in nature. He has a rifle hanging ready and a long, sharpened staff in hand. His saddle extends around the front and back of the horse and has long fringe decorating it.

Just behind the mounted horseman is a lady tending to several sheep. They are done in far less detail yet provide a visual clue as to what the horseman is so prepared to defend.

I hope someone finds a great new use for Bonheur’s drawing. It would certainly make a bold and dramatic addition to your projects.

Horseman Drawing by Rosa Bonheur

Larger image available by clicking on the drawing shown above. Larger image is suitable for full-page printing and use as a coloring page.

This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.