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Dennis Miller Bunker (1861-1890)
The Gail and John Liebes Collection
Dennis Miller Bunker (1861-1890)

Larmor

Details
Dennis Miller Bunker (1861-1890)
Larmor
signed, inscribed and dated indistinctly 'To Joe./D.M. Bunker/1884.' (lower left)
oil on panel
4 7/8 x 8 ½ in. (12.4 x 21.6 cm.)
Painted in 1884.
Provenance
The artist.
Joseph T. Evans, gift from the above.
Mr. Graham Williford, New York, by 1978.
[With]Beacon Hill Fine Art, New York.
Robert Rubin, New York, acquired from the above, 1996.
[With]Debra Force Fine Art, Inc., New York.
Acquired by the late owners from the above, 2002.
Exhibited
(Possibly) Boston, Massachusetts, Noyes & Blakeslee Gallery, Exhibition of Paintings by Dennis M. Bunker, 1885, one of nos. 13 or 20 (as Notre Dame de Larmor).
New Britain, Connecticut, New Britain Museum of American Art, Dennis Miller Bunker Rediscovered, April 1-May 7, 1978, no. 12.
Boston, Massachusetts, Museum of Fine Arts; Denver, Colorado, Denver Art Museum, Dennis Miller Bunker: American Impressionist, January 13-June 4; October 14-December 31, 1995, pp. 33, 134, 171, 181, no. 16, illustrated.
Pont-Aven, France, Musée de Pont-Aven, Peintres Ame´ricains en Bretagne, 1864-1914, June 24-September 25, 1995, p. 22, no. 9, illustrated (as Vue de Larmor, le matin).
New York, Beacon Hill Fine Art, American Painters on the French Scene, 1874-1914, April 23-July 12, 1996.
New York, Debra Force Fine Art, Inc., Images de la France: American Artists in Paris, 1880 to 1925, November 1-December 21, 2002, pp. 16-17, illustrated.

Lot Essay

During the summers of 1883 and 1884, Dennis Miller Bunker left Paris where he was studying at the École des Beaux-Arts to travel to the French countryside with fellow students Charles A. Platt and Kenneth R. Cranford. Eschewing the popular American artist colonies in Brittany, such as Pont-Aven and Concarneau, Bunker and his friends instead chose to settle in the more isolated coastal town of Larmor. In the present work, Bunker presents the townscape under a band of textural, cloudy blue sky, which is only interrupted by the towering spire of Notre Dame de Larmor. In the foreground, Bunker's characteristic impressive detail captures the grassy fields dotted with farm animals.

A larger version of this composition entitled Brittany Town Morning, Larmor is in the collection of the Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, Illinois. Erica Hirshler writes, "Brittany Town Morning, Larmor was the most important painting Bunker made in Larmor. In it, he abandoned the moody soft light and indistinct compositions of his previous summer’s work and created an image of great clarity and mesmerizing strength...Bunker’s friend Joe Evans must have admired [Brittany Town Morning, Larmor], which he could have seen when he visited Bunker in the fall or later, when Bunker’s work was exhibited in New York at the National Academy of Design in April 1885, for Bunker inscribed a small version of the composition to him.” (Dennis Miller Bunker: American Impressionist, exhibition catalogue, Boston, Massachusetts, 1994, pp. 32-33)

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