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Self portrait with scarf
, c.1930s

by Rupert Bunny

oil on canvas (frame: 85.8 cm x 70.7 cm, support: 59.2 cm x 44 cm)

Rupert Bunny, artist, studied architecture and engineering at the University of Melbourne as well as art at the National Gallery School from 1881 to 1884. In 1884 he went to Paris with his father, a judge; he was to remain in France for nearly fifty years, enjoying more success than any other Australian painter in Paris and progressing through successive, distinct artistic styles and subjects. He first caught sight of Jeanne Heloise Morel in a Paris art school where she studied and modelled. They married in 1902; he was to paint and draw her until 1929, when she suffered a stroke. In 1901-02 he painted a superbly commanding portrait of Dame Nellie Melba, acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria in 1980. After he returned to live in Melbourne in 1933, a sad widower, he engaged only desultorily with local art politics, turning instead to composing music. In 1946 the NGV held a full retrospective of his work; the same institution mounted another touring retrospective in 1991.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Philip Bacon AM 2012
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2012.222