THE SIREN I, c.1894

Important Australian + International Fine Art
26 August 2009

Rupert Bunny

(1864 - 1947)
THE SIREN I, c.1894

conté; and monochrome wash with white highlights on card

29.5 x 19.5 cm (image)

signed lower right in monogram: RCWB
inscribed middle left: THE SIREN

$3,000 - 5,000
Sold for $5,040 (inc. BP) in Auction 10 - 26 August 2009, Melbourne

Estate of the artist
Thence by descent
Private collection, Western Australia

Catalogue text

This special collection of works by Rupert Bunny ranges from individual studies to finished works, such as the very early Biblical subject Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, c.1887, a watercolour version being in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Like many of his contemporaries, Bunny drew for magazines in Paris and London including the London Magazine of Art. His ink drawing 'Sigh no more, ladies'  from Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, published in 1896, is in the Art Collection of the University of Melbourne, Ian Potter Museum. In the group of illustrations on offer sections in The Siren and Young and old Satyr are left blank for the inclusion of the lines of poetry. A further stage is seen in the two printer's proofs for A Cradle Song, the original conté drawing being in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The oil sketch, Study for a Mythological Decoration, c.1919, is of much later interest, redolent of those inventive works of pulsating form and colour influenced by the Ballets Russes and Matisse. The colour monotype by Bunny's future wife, Jeanne Heloise Morel, is particularly rare, being one of only three known examples. Of further interest are two early monotypes by Bunny's close friend, the American Augustus Koopman. In 1898 Bunny and Koopman experimented with colour monotypes, each holding solo exhibitions of their work in London and Paris.