(Australia, France 29 Sep 1864–25 May 1947)
222.0 x 181.5cm stretcher; 246.3 x 205.7 x 13.0cm frame
Salon painting as a precept and as a practice had no more loyal adherent than Rupert Bunny. Born and educated in Melbourne, Bunny began a lifetime of European travel and residence in 1884. The success of his academic and essentially escapist project in Paris and London was real, complicit though it proved to be with the self-delusion of an age on the edge of war. Bunny's dedication to the good life resulted in some of the most sumptuous paintings in Australian art history, and the most admired. The artist's wife, kittenish herself, plays with a lapful of cats. Her companion accepts a basin of milk from a meaningfully shadowed maid. As upholstered in privilege as they are in their lacy day-gowns, Bunny's women are the late-picked fruit of a century whose heyday had passed. Despite his stylistic conservatism, the painter kept a finger on the pulse of taste. He responded to post-impressionism and fauvism, albeit belatedly, in a series of brilliantly coloured compositions on classical themes in the 1920s. During that decade, Bunny returned twice to Australia, settling permanently in 1933. Music, in which he had always had a parallel interest, became increasingly important to him: even so palpable a painting as 'A summer morning', with its plump depictions of fabric and flesh, has a musical ethereality.
Art Gallery Handbook 1999
Caroline Holmes (Author), Impressionists in their gardens, Suffolk, 2012, 142 (colour illus., detail), 143 (colour illus.).
'What lies beneath? Rupert Bunny comes in for close scrutiny in a new survey exhibition' by Christopher Allen, pg. 14-15., The Weekend Australian Review 12 Dec 2009-13 Dec 2009, 12 Dec 2009-13 Dec 2009, 14.
'Rupert Bunny: An exotic in the history of Australian art' by Deborah Edwards, pg. 28-32., Look Nov 2009, Nov 2009, 31, 32.
'Catch this if you can: Highlights from this year's international arts calendar' by Sarah Hetherington, pg. 14., The Australian art market report [first quarter] 2009, 2009, 12 (colour illus.). Advertising Rupert Bunny retrospective to be held at AGNSW 2009
Deborah Edwards (Australia) (Author), Rupert Bunny: artist in Paris, Sydney, 2009, 8 (colour illus., detail), 9, 64, 70, 73, 85 (colour illus.), 158, 198 (colour illus.), 199, 204 (colour illus.). cat.no. 26
Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Author), Art Gallery of New South Wales: highlights from the collection, Sydney, 2008, 64 (colour illus.), 65 (colour illus., detail).
Desmond Macaulay (Author), Bettina Macaulay (Author), Singing in the heart: Music and the art of Rupert Bunny, Queensland, 2007, 60.
'Oz arts: Our painters in the Paris Salons' by Anne Gérard, pg. 37-39., Look Dec 2006-Jan 2007, Dec 2006-Jan 2007, 39.
Les Peintres Australiens Dans Les Salons Parisiens de 1886 a 1914 Jun 2006, Jun 2006, 104, 122, XCV (colour illus.).
Barry Pearce (Australia) (Author), Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, Domain, 2002, 15, 26, 22 (colour illus.).
Barry Pearce (Australia) (Author), Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Domain, 2000, 87 (colour illus.).
Jean-Claude Lesage (France) (Author), Peintres Australiens à Etaples, Etaples-sur-Mer, 2000, 116, 49 (illus.).
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Director), Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Domain, 1999, 129, 129 (colour illus.).
Mary Eagle (Australia, b.1944) (Author), Rupert Bunny: An Australian in Paris, Parkes, 1991, 8, 17, 8 (illus.).
Hal Missingham (Australia, b.1906, d.1994) (Author), A retrospective exhibition of Australian painting, Domain, 1953. cat.no. 72
A retrospective exhibition of Australian painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 25 Sep 1953–25 Oct 1953.
Rupert Bunny: An Australian in Paris (1991-92), National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], 24 Jul 1991–17 Oct 1991.
Rupert Bunny: An Australian in Paris (1991-92), National Gallery of Australia, 09 Nov 1991–02 Feb 1992.
Rupert Bunny: An Australian in Paris (1991-92), Art Gallery of New South Wales, 05 Mar 1992–26 Apr 1992.
Parallel Visions: Twenty-two artists from the Australian collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 22 Feb 2002–May 2003.