Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rupert Bunny - Melbourne Artist - 1864 to 1947

I use to draw things as a child at home, later I would draw cartoons. Terrible at the more scholastic subjects, I went to art school, not that it did much good - although it did give me an appreciation of art and an interest in the Heidelberg School of artists. They were my favorites along with the French Impessionists.
A group of Australian Impressionist (late 1800s) initially painted in the Bay area of Melbourne (where we now live) before they moved on to the then rural district of Heidelberg. I grew up in this district and enjoyed riding my bike there as a teenager.

Rupert Bunny - Self Portrait

I was aware of Charles Condor, Walt Withers, Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton, well known Australian impressionist artists, but not Rupert Bunny.
You can read more about the Heidelberg School artists here.

That is until I was driving down the freeway and saw that the Rupert Bunny exhibition was advertised. This Melbourne artist spent most of his life in Paris and areas of France during the end of the 1800s and the early 1900s.

Summer Morning

If you click on the link below a video will describe his career better than I can here.
A video of the Rupert Bunny Exhibition

Last Fine Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rupert Charles Wulsten Bunny (29 September 1864 – 25 May 1947) was an Australian painter, born in St Kilda, Victoria.
Bunny was the third son of Victorian Country Court Judge, Brice Frederick Bunny, and Marie Hedwig Dorothea Wulsten. He travelled to England in 1884 and studied at Calderon's art school in London. After 18 months he went to Paris to study at the atelier of Jean-Paul Laurens. In 1902, he married Jeanne Heloise Morel, a former art student and model, who appeared frequently in his paintings. He lived in France until 1911 when he returned to Australia for a visit. For a number of years he travelled back and forth between Australia and France. After his wife died in 1933, he returned permanently to Australia and settled in South Yarra, Victoria.[1]

Dolce Farniete - Sweet Idleness

From the ABC website -
Rupert Bunny is one of Australia's best known and loved artists, at the height of his career at the end of the 19th century he was living a life of success in Europe, befriending some of the most brilliant painters, writers, musicians and dancers of the day.

Returning from the garden
Dame Nellie Melba - Australian Opera singer. Her home in Coldstream, Victoria is about an hours drive from home. The area is in the Yarra Valley, home to many fine vineyards.

We still don't why we didn't get to the Exhibition that was held here at the time. We have missed seeing a great Melbourne artist's works. I have enjoyed researching through the above links and hope you had an opportunity to appreciate some of our Australian artists as well.


  1. Great post, I had never heard of Bunny before but I love his paintings. Interesting to me that he spent a lot of time in Paris. Have a good weekend. Diane

  2. Rupert was a good looking man and so talented, (as well as the other Australian impressionists). I really like his "dolce farniente" painting. It is too bad you missed the exhibition. I would have loved seeing it.
    I hope you back is better Leon.
    (Sorry I forgot to sign in, again)

  3. Diane/Nadege,
    I think our more known impressionists were landscape artists where as you can see Bunny had a leaning towards painting people. I like his colours very much.
    The back is better - thanks for asking. Hoping to start back on the bike this week.

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