The Rupert Bunny Collection includes 15 drawing books of nude studies, 16 sketchbooks containing preparatory drawings for a number of the artist’s most significant paintings and over 1000 oil, watercolour, pen, crayon and pencil sketches.
The works were in the artist’s studio at the time of his death and were presented to the University from the Bunny estate through Sir Daryl Lindsay, then director of the National Gallery of Victoria. As well as being highly significant artworks in their own right, the sketchbooks provide an insight into the methods used by Rupert Bunny throughout his long and interesting career, which included living in Paris for over four decades.
His oeuvre was eclectic in style and theme, ranging from Victorian idylls in the pre-First World War period to decorative allegories and high-keyed landscapes in the 1920s and 1930s. The sketchbooks and ancillary material illustrate the diverse interests of the artist. There are also a number of additional paintings by Rupert Bunny in the collection that were acquired separately to this bequest.