Rupert Bunny was one of the most successful Australian expatriate artists of his generation. In an era when artists were increasingly drawn to the vibrant cultural atmosphere of Europe, no other Australian achieved the accolades Bunny accumulated in Paris in the 1890s and early 1900s. Bunny was the first Australian to be awarded honours at the prestigious exhibiting venue, the Paris Salon. By the end of his career the French state had acquired 13 of his works – more than from any other Australian, and a greater number than from almost any other foreign artist in Paris. During his lifetime his art could be seen in galleries in London, Paris, Brussels, Edinburgh, St Petersburg, Budapest, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Born in St Kilda Victoria in 1864, Bunny’s studies in the 1880s were initially in Melbourne at the National Gallery School, followed by studies in London at St Johns Wood Art School and then at leading French academic history painter Jean-Paul Lauren’s atelier in Paris. Bunny practiced as an artist in Europe for almost 50 years before returning to live in Melbourne in 1933 after the death of his wife.Despite his age he was assimilated into the local contemporary art scene, exhibiting with progressive artists groups, holding successful solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Sydney. He was given a major retrospective in Melbourne in 1946, a year before his death, confirming his reputation as one of Australia’s most significant artists.