Rupert Bunny (1864 - 1947)

Working for most of his life in Paris, Bunny formed an important tie between Australian painting and French Impressionism. His landscapes, figure studies, and scenes drawn from mythology and literature are full of light and subtle colour harmonies, distinguished by their ability to capture a delicate intimacy of mood. Bunny’s celebrated depictions of women at leisure, which established his international reputation, were succeeded by lucent, textural landscapes after the development of the Impressionist movement. His later works, influenced by Gauguin and Orientalism, explored allegorical themes, imbuing images of modern life with an air of fantasy. The National Gallery of Victoria held retrospectives of Bunny’s paintings and drawings in 1946, and again in 1991, and his work was included in a number of survey exhibitions such as The Great Australian Art Exhibition, which toured the country in 1988-89. Bunny was granted an honourable mention at the Old Salon, Paris in 1890 and awarded a Bronze Medal in 1900 in the Exposition Universalle, Paris. His work is held in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, all Australian State galleries and many regional and university collections, as well as in public collections in France.