Rupert C. W. Bunny and the Pre-Raphaelite Aesthetic.


  • Barbara Kane


Rupert Bunny, pre-raphaelite aesthetic


This article examines the work of the Australian artist, Rupert Bunny (1864-1947), who lived in France for nearly half a century and whose career is usually associated with French art. However, it can be argued that, during the decades of the 1880s and 1890s, Bunny’s paintings shared several aspects of the Pre-Raphaelite aesthetic, including literary sources (such as Anna Jameson and Algernon C. Swinburne) and also visual motifs and facial types, finding in D. G. Rossetti’s images and, particularly, the late work of Edward Burne-Jones, a rich source of inspiration. Through a focused study of Bunny’s religious subjects—particularly his depiction of the lives of the female saints Cecilia, Dorothy and Catherine—the clear influence of these Pre-Raphaelites can be identified.  The article concludes with Bunny's sketches and paintings of the Virgin Mary, which show his admiration of the work of Fra Angelico, and his particular debt to Rossetti and the medievalism of the original Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.


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PreRaphaelitism in Australasia Special Issue