Bernard Dunstan | Contemporary Show

23 November to 21 December 2017


At the time of his death, aged 97, Dunstan was the Royal Academy's longest serving member, having been elected Associate in 1959 and full member in 1968.  An admirer of Bonnard, Vuillard and Sickert, he was well-known for his intimate domestic interiors of nudes, his views of Venice and his paintings of orchestras, which he exhibited at the Royal Academy and the New English Art Club for over 60 years.

His continued passion and energy for painting over the years was in no doubt attributable to his lifelong partnership with fellow artist, Diana Armfield, whom he first met at the Slade School of Fine Art in the early 1940s, later marrying in 1949.  Together they worked alongside one another for more than 60 years from their homes in Kew and North Wales and on their many trips to France and Italy.

Whereas Diana concentrated on landscapes and still life, the figure was paramount for Dunstan, and in particular nudes: "Figure painting still seems to me to present quite unlimited scope.  If some mad minister of art decreed that I could only paint one subject for the rest of my life I would be perfectly happy doing nothing but nudes....I am quite happy with Ruskin's dictum 'Paint what you love and love what you paint.'


This exhibition is devoted to Dunstan's smaller works from the early 1960s to 1990s.

An Introduction to the exhibition by Peter Davies


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