A Love Story is Behind this Belle Epoque Masterpiece Headed to Auction2 November 2020
ARTFIXdaily | Anon.
In 1892, Rupert Bunny fell in love with an art student, Jeanne Heloise Morel, forever changing the young artist's life and work. A canvas at auction this month is the first, major full-length portrait by Bunny of Morel, painted tenderly by her fiancé and revealed to the public at the epicentre of art at the time – the Salon, Paris, 1895. John Longstaff, one of Bunny’s closest friends and fellow Australian artist living and working in Paris recalled: ‘I remember … the very night they met, and how he fell in love with her at first sight. She was a regular Dresden china girl with a deliciously tip-titled nose.’ Smith & Singer will present this landmark work for sale this November 18. Of remarkable personal significance to the artist and bearing distinguished provenance from some of Australia’s most renowned collectors, Portrait of Mlle Morel (1895) represents one of the most important paintings – by one of Australia’s most celebrated artists – remaining in private ownership.