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“Endormies” by Rupert Bunny

Rupert Bunny - Endormies - Google Art Project

Endormies by Rupert Bunny

“Endormies” by Rupert Bunny depicts two female figures relaxing and dreaming at the water’s edge. Endormie means sleepy is French and is descriptive of this scene. Bunny modelled the sleeping figure on his wife Jeanne Morel, who featured in many paintings during this period. Jeanne is a French variation of Jean, and the meaning of the name is “God is gracious”. Her graceful and sensuous features graced many of his paintings.

In this painting, Bunny has included a rose, a traditional symbol of love, as well as the white swans which are symbolic of grace and beauty and which is another recurring theme in Bunny’s compositions, and was inspired by French art motifs from before the Great War. Many artists also used the motif of a small dog to symbolise marital fidelity, which can be seen in this painting, sleeping at the feet of his mistress.

Rupert Bunny (1864 – 1947) was an Australian painter, who achieved success and critical acclaim as an expatriate in fin-de-siècle Paris. He gained an honourable mention at the Paris Salon of 1890 and a bronze medal at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900. The French state acquired 13 of his works for the Musée du Luxembourg and regional collections.

Exploring Rupert Bunny

Reflections

  • A rose was a traditional symbol of love in paintings. What symbols of love are used in today’s pictures?
  • A small dog was a traditional symbol of marital fidelity in paintings. How do today’s painters treat this subject?
  • Is art is an illusion of spontaneity?

Endormies

Rupert Bunny

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“Art is an illusion of spontaneity.” Japanese Proverb

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