ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

French Impressionist - Australian Rupert Bunny

Updated on March 21, 2014
The Last fine days
The Last fine days

An Australian in Paris

Rupert Charles Wulsten Bunny was an Impressionist artist, born in St Kilda, near Melbourne, 1864, his father was a local Judge and his mother played and taught piano. His childhood was one of gatherings around the piano, concerts and theatre but when he expressed an interest in entering the arts his parents we non too supportive. So Rupert Bunny left for England in 1884 and soon enrolled in P.H. Caleron's Art School in London. After two years study, he moved to Paris and was tutored under the watchful eye of Jean Paul Laurens a French Impressionist of some renown.

It didn't take long for this talent Australian to make his mark and he was soon exhibiting his work in the Salon, Paris, Royal Academy in London and also Pittsburg in America. His early works showed definite influence from his master, having a definite Pre-Raphaelite, Impressionistic feel. These paintings were allegorical interpretations of Classical Mythologies and Religious tracts, dramatic and full of emotion.


Impressionism before the War

In 1902 he married fellow art student Jeanne Morel, who also appears as a model in a number of his pieces. This period was a decadent time, la belle epoque and his work reflected the extravagance of the age. His friends included Rodin, the Singer Nellie (Peach) Melba, Debussy and Gwen John, all were active in Paris at this time and Bunny captured their lifestyle perfectly.

His paintings featured elegant ladies in long dresses, lace shawls, big hats. He paints their delicate long flowing satin and silk gowns with such a gentle touch, highlighting the jewels and flowers that decorate and trim. His figures, often posed in dark, dim corners offer us brief glances to the world within. Titles such as the bathers, chatting in the park, moonlight senata and nocturne all depict the self absorbed life of privileged women at that time.

Dance 1920
Dance 1920
St Paul's Chapel 1923
St Paul's Chapel 1923

After World War One

After all the war changed everything, Bunny felt that his painterly style before was not fit for the new age, he said he disliked painting women after the war in their short skirts and never returned to the subject matter again. Instead he drew inspiration from the Fauvists and Japanesian artworks. His themes were once more classical or landscapes but this time in bold, free brush strokes, exciting brash colours. The influence of Cezanne and Gauguin are all to evident in these paintings. He seemed just as much at home exploring the medium as he did the subject and once more became very adapt at his new style of working.

He would travel south in the winter to Provence for the warmer climes and now returned to Australia more often to paint. In 1933 when Jeanne died, he finally returned permanently to Melbourne where he continued to paint but not as enthusiastically. Bunny towards the end of his life concentrated more on music, performing and writing several ballads. In 1946 a retrospective of his life's work was arranged in Victoria, a first for any living Australian artist, he sadly died the following year. His work remains as a collection of excitingly differing styles, a rich,eclectic body of work, showing us an age of innocence long since gone, blissfully unaware of the horrors that awaited.

Other Artists on this Hub

Welsh Female Impressionist - Gwen John

Renaissance Women Painters 1400-1650

Renaissance Artist - Sonfonisba Anguissola

Baraque Artist - Artemisia Gentileschi

Rococo Portrait Painter - Rosalba Carriera

Italian Expressionist - Amedeo Modigliani

Surrealist - Joseph Cornell

Dadaist - Hannah Hoch


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 

      9 years ago from UK

      I hadn't heard of Bunny before. It's interesting the way he kept re-inventing himself. The variations in his style over time are quite amazing. Thanks for posting this. It's always good to learn about new artists.

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      9 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you for writing about these artists. Sad to say I didn't know them before. Thanks to your hub, now I know more wonderful artists. I love their works!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      This is a very interesting hub and well written. The paintings a fantastic. I am glad you brought this great artist to our attention. Thank you.

    • Paradise7 profile image


      9 years ago from Upstate New York

      Yoiu caught the flavor of this artist's life and environment before WW1, almost as well as the artist did on canvas. Great hub, thank you!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)