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Australian art

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Self portrait

(circa 1895)


Rupert Bunny

Australia, France

29 Sep 1864 - 25 May 1947


Rupert Bunny was one of the most successful expatriate Australian artists of his generation, having spent most of his working life in France. He studied at Melbourne's National Gallery School before leaving for England in 1884 and France in 1886, where he remained, apart from short visits home before returning permanently to Melbourne in 1932. Bunny studied under Jean-Paul Laurens (1838-1921) in Paris for two years and was an exhibiting member of the Société des Artistes Francais from 1887. He became a member of the 'new' Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1901 and the Salon d'Automne in 1904. Bunny was a fine draughtsman and colourist who painted rhythmical figure compositions, favouring subjects from mythology, idyllic scenes of leisured life and landscapes of the south of France. Among many works by him in the Gallery's collection is the popular and monumental 'Summer time' c1907, purchased in 1928.

excerpt from Hendrik Kolenberg, Anne Ryan and Patricia James, '19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels in the Gallery's collection', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2005



(circa 1895)

Media category


Materials used

sanguine on buff wove paper with blue fibre


32.4 x 25.1 cm sheet (irreg.)

Signature & date

Signed l.r. with monogram, sanguine "RB". Not dated.


Accessioned 2000


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Rupert Bunny

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 5 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 6 publications


Jane Clark, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'Rupert Bunny / E. Phillips Fox', pg. 20-31, Sydney, 2002, 142.

Jane Clark and Bridget Whitelaw, Golden summers: Heidelberg and beyond, Melbourne, 1985, 14 (illus.).

Deborah Edwards, Rupert Bunny: artist in Paris, 'Rupert Bunny: enigma and success', pg. 13-29, Sydney, 2009, 160 (colour illus.), 202 (colour illus.). cabinet 11

R Jope-Slade, The magazine of art, 'An Australian quartette', pg. 390, London, 1895, 390 (illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg, 19th century Australian watercolours, drawing and pastels from the Gallery's collection, 'Introduction', pg. 6-16, Sydney, 2005, 10, 113 (colour illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg, The portrait and the nude: Australian drawings from the collection, Sydney, 1990. 7