Monday, February 12, 2018

Dennis Miller Bunker: Died Far Too Young

The painting above is "Dennis Miller Bunker Painting at Calcot" by John Singer Sargent (1888). Dennis Miller Bunker (1861-1890) lived just 29 years, but showed considerable promise, as Sargent seemed to have realized.

Some biographical information is here, and some of Bunker's thoughts regarding being an artist can be found here.

Bunker was a solid traditional/representational painter who spent a year or two in France when French Impressionism was gaining acceptance and Post-Impressionism was getting underway (Manet died in 1883 and Seurat was about to paint his masterpiece, "Un dimanche après-midi à l'île de la Grande Jatte"). He made some oil sketches that seem to lie in the gray zone between being simply sketches and being a sort of Impressionism -- it's difficult to tell. But he largely continued on a traditional path after returning to America. There is no way of telling what he might have painted had he lived into the era of modernist "isms."


The Shed, Cold Spring Harbor - 1880
Painted when Bunker was about 19.

Beached - c. 1882
Another fairly elaborate sketch -- note that here and in the previous work he signed with only his initials.

Lacroix, St-Ouen, Oise - 1883

Brittany Town, Morning, Larmor - 1884
Some French plein air type scenes.

Tree - 1884
This painting is also signed using initials.

Anne Page - 1887
A portrait reminiscent of Whistler's work.

Second Portrait of a Woman - undated

The Mirror - 1890 - (Julia "Dudie" Blair)
A late work. I wrote about her here.

1 comment:

Lisa Jeffers Fulton said...

Wow. Thanks for showing these. The sharpened landscapes are spectacular.