Rupert Bunny was born in St Kilda, Victoria. He achieved success and critical acclaim as an expatriate in fin-de-siècle Paris. He gained an honourable mention at the Paris Salon of 1890 with his painting Tritons and a bronze medal at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900 with his Burial of St Catherine of Alexandria. The French state acquired 13 of his works for the Musée du Luxembourg and regional collections. He was a "sumptuous colourist and splendidly erudite painter of ideal themes, and the creator of the most ambitious Salon paintings produced by an Australian.