The Sonata, Rupert Bunny
  • Artist
    Rupert Bunny
  • Born
  • Died
  • Title
    The Sonata
  • Date of Production
  • Medium
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions
    Oil on canvas
  • Credit Details
    Martha K. Pinkerton Bequest, 1946

Rupert Bunny

The Sonata

Trained at the National Gallery School, Melbourne (1881-4) and then the Royal Academy Preparatory School, London, Rupert Bunny went on to study with Jean Paul Laurens in Paris.  A painter of mythological scenes, landscapes and figure studies, he spent much of his working life overseas, only returning to settle in Australia in 1932-3 after the death of his wife, Jeanne.

One of a series of balcony scenes, The Sonata (Au balcon) depicts three women in evening dress bathed in light. In this impressionistic work Bunny has used muted tones and softly modelled figures to capture the charm and elegance of  the scene.

When this painting was being acquired Bunny wrote to the Mr. G. K. Sutton, Honorary Secretary of the Gallery, that "The picture was painted in 1910 and shown in the Royal Academy in 1911. I called it The Sonata the idea being these women are listening to music from the balcony of a room, which it really was, as a Danish woman and a very fine pianist a friend of ours was playing the "moonlight sonata".