The Joy of Museums

Finding Beauty & Meaning in Museums

Rupert Bunny


Rupert Bunny (1864 – 1947) was an Australian painter, who was a magnificent colourist and erudite painter of classic themes and could masterful handle large-scale composition. His paintings were inspired by European masters and brought him success greater than any other Australian artist working abroad.

Bunny initially studied art in London, then he went to Paris to study and was a frequent visitor to the Étaples art colony. The Etaples art colony consisted of artists working in the Étaples area of northern France at the turn of the 20th century. Although broadly international, it was made up mainly of English-speakers from North America, Australasia and the British Isles.

Bunny achieved success and critical acclaim as an expatriate in Paris in the 1800’s. He gained an honourable mention at the Paris Salon of 1890 and a bronze medal at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900 with. The French state acquired 13 of his works for the Musée du Luxembourg and regional collections. Rupert Bunny’s success during the decades he spent in Paris saw his work exhibited throughout Europe and collected by many museums. He also led a cosmopolitan life with acquaintances amongst the leading celebrates of the time, such as Nellie Melba, Auguste Rodin and Sarah Bernhardt.

In 1902, he married Jeanne Heloise Morel, a former art student and model, who appeared frequently in his paintings. After travelling back and forth between Australia and France on numerous occasions, after his wife died in 1933, he returned permanently to Australia.

Artist Essential Facts:


“Art is an illusion of spontaneity.” Japanese Proverb


Pastorale, 1893

Rupert Bunny - Pastoral - Google Art Project

A Summer Morning, 1897

Rupert Bunny - Summer time, 1907

Endormies, 1904

Rupert Bunny - Endormies - Google Art Project

Summer Time, 1907

Rupert Bunny - A summer morning - Google Art Project

La Fontaine, 1929

Queensland Art Gallery - Joy of Museums - "La Fontaine" by Rupert Bunny


Photo Credit: Rupert Bunny [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons