Rupert Bunny


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(b St Kilda, nr. Melbourne, 29 Sept. 1864; d Melbourne, 25 May 1947).

Australian painter, active for most of his career in Paris, where he settled in 1886. His work became deeply French in spirit and was well received in his adopted country; he also exhibited with success at the Royal Academy during his frequent visits to London. Bunny's work includes landscapes, portraits, and mythological subjects, but he is best known for leisurely scenes involving elegant, beautifully dressed women (Returning from the Garden, 1906, AG of NSW, Sydney). He remained in France until 1933, when he returned to Australia following the death of his French wife. Although he continued to work, he was little appreciated in his homeland until very near the end of his life. However, Bernard Smith (Australian Painting: 1778–1990, 1991) writes that ‘Since his death his work has been held in the highest regard…some critics…considering him the finest of all Australian painters.’

Subjects: Art.

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