Bernard Dunstan

Bernard Dunstan The Bathroom oil on canvas 29 x 27 cm

Bernard Dunstan Nude at Curtain oil on board

Bernard Dunstan Nude on Bed Trying on Shawl oil on board

I remember first encountering the paintings of Bernard Dunstan (1920-) in a musty book at the library, and I was quite entranced with their marvelous color and gentle light, and the soft yet concise brushwork. The colors tend towards pastel shades, but never seem too sweet, and his deft way of applying paint reminds me of Walter Sickert, another British painter. In my mind, these paintings are wonderfully short on dull and prosaic detail, which lets the colors take flight. 

Dunstan's wife Diana Armfield is also a painter, and they've had a long and happy marriage. Dunstan says he likes to begin each morning with a quick nude drawing of Armfield, saying "it keeps my mind active". 

‘My motto is Ruskin’s, paint what you love and love what you paint.’
-Bernard Dunstan

Bernard Dunstan and his wife, Diana Armfield  2008


  1. Wonderful. Thanks for posting. I have a couple of his books which I reference continually.

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