[Editor’s note: In this touching note, a 76 year old Rosa Bonheur writes to lover Anna Klumpke’s mother — asking for her blessing after inviting Anna to move in with her.]
Dear Madame Klumpke,
I am writing, first of all, to thank you for your warm reply to my letter. I'm sending this letter along with that of your dear daughter Anna, my dear colleague in the arts, in order to tell you of my deep affection for her. Over these past two months I've seen how loyal, forthright, and honest she is. Because we think alike and despite the age difference, I've asked her to live with me, to share this happy life of work and tranquillity and to carry on as we've been doing. Mlle Anna will tell you about our plans in her own letter. For my part, dear Mme Klumpke, I was very lonely and despondent after I lost the best and most cherished of friends, Mlle Nathalie Micas. Nothing can ever make me forget her. Yet I feel that the fine affection that your daughter and I share will, for the rest of my days, make me once again happy to work and eager to produce a few more paintings that noble hearts will appreciate. I send you, dear madame, my fond regards and beg you to consider me a bit like one of your daughters.
August 2, 1898