Department of Art after 1800
Originating from Australia, Rupert Bunny lived in London for a year and a half before settling in Paris in 1885. His early submissions to the Salon exhibitions were large compositions on mythological or biblical themes. His pictures were characterised by the technical sophistication he had acquired from his master, Jean-Paul Laurens, although they were clearly also influenced by the sensual imaginative power of the French symbolists. Before long, Bunny was one of the most famous foreign artists in cosmopolitan Paris, known to both critics and members of the public. He often visited the port of Étaples, where there was a thriving colony of artists who shared English as their mother tongue. Here, around the turn of the century, he produced numerous coastal scenes in which reality was mixed with elements from his own imagination. When modelling his figures, he relied primarily on the Pre-Raphaelites’ ideal of the female form. In 1888 he met the Hungarian writer Zsigmond Justh, and they remained lifelong friends. Bunny frequently visited his friend in Hungary, and he also participated regularly in the international exhibitions at the Budapest Műcsarnok (Kunsthalle).
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.