Rupert Bunny1864 - 1947 Luxembourg Gardens 1908-10
- oil on canvas
Rupert Bunny was one of the most successful Australian expatriate artists of his generation. In an era when artists were increasingly drawn to the vibrant cultural atmosphere of Europe, no other Australian achieved the accolades Bunny accumulated in Paris in the 1890s and early 1900s. Bunny was the first Australian to be awarded honours at the prestigious exhibiting venue, the Paris Salon.
In 1895, Bunny met his future wife Jeanne Morel while she was a fellow art student. She became the subject of many paintings, which from around this time increasingly depicted groupings of languid, dreamy female figures. Such works suggest the influence of the British pre-Raphaelite painters particularly the idealised, angelic women of John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. At the turn of the century, a new mood pervaded Bunny's art, which no doubt was due to growing financial and critical success. His paintings retained the idealism and grand, decorative scale befitting the Salon, but he was influenced by a more wide-ranging interest in the representation of modern life. Bunny's depictions of his wife Jeanne and her friends typified the elegance, fashionable frills and glamour of the seemingly endless summer that was the belle Ã©poque.
Source: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Rupert Bunny online biography