Dennis Miller Bunker - The Mirror - 1890

Dennis Miller Bunker - The Mirror - 1890

Dennis Miller Bunker (1861 – 1890) was an American realist and impressionist. He painted both brightly colored landscapes and finely drawn limited-palette portraits. One of the greatest draftsmen of his generation, Bunker died from meningitis at the age of twenty-nine.  Had he lived, many believe Bunker could have achieved the stature of painters like Sargent and Sorolla.

In 1876 he enrolled at the Art Students League of New York and the National Academy of Design, where he studied with William Merritt Chase.  In 1882 he entered the École des Beaux-Arts where he studied with Jean-Léon Gérôme.  Gerome considered Bunker one of his star students, showing his work as examples to others.  During the summers Bunker traveled in Normandy and Brittany to paint en plein air.  In Brittany Town Morning, Larmor Bunker shows his masterly use of values and subtle color shifts.  Later Bunker painted with Sargent and Monet and began to move towards impressionism in his landscapes.  Returning to the United States Bunker taught in Boston and became a founding member of the Boston School.  Although Bunker’s life was cut short, he achieved a great deal and influenced Tarbell, DeCamp, and Paxton.  He deserves to be better known.  Many of his paintings including The Mirror (pictured) are in private collections.

Dennis Miller Bunker - Brittany Town Morning, Larmor - 1884

Dennis Miller Bunker - Brittany Town Morning, Larmor - 1884