Academicians in Focus: Bernard Dunstan RA and Diana Armfield RA

Painting From Life – Painting Their Life

29 October 2015 — 24 April 2016

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Diana Armfield RA and Bernard Dunstan RA have painted in each other’s company for over 65 years, and yet each has a unique approach to their art.

Whether in the vicinity of their two homes in Kew and Wales, or on the many painting trips they have made to Italy and France, Armfield and Dunstan have worked in each other’s company for over 65 years. Each has their own approach. Diana responds to still life, landscape and convivial occasions in restaurants and other public places, while Bernard prefers to capture the structure and atmosphere of interiors with the themes of both the intimate nude and the world of musical performance.

Both are admirers of Bonnard, Vuillard, Sickert and William Nicholson. They seem happiest when painting and drawing from life, painting with a wonderful lightness of touch and colour and a strong sense of purpose. Diana and Bernard have spent their lives expressing the beauty of the world around them, undistracted by any desire for the expression of self. They “paint what they love, and love what they paint”.

Diana and Bernard met while studying at the Slade School of Fine Art in the 1940s, and their romance was kindled after Diana saw a painting of Bernard’s at the 1947 Summer Exhibition. Together they have since made painting their life, and between them have been Royal Academicians for 82 years. They are now both Senior Academicians, and in their 96th year, continue to work alongside one another with energy and passion.

29 October 2015 — 24 April 2016

Saturday – Thursday 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 10pm

If you are not a Friend, Patron or Corporate Member of the RA, simply ask staff at the Keeper’s House for access to see the Academicians in Focus exhibition before 4pm.

Belle Shenkman Room, The Keeper’s House, Royal Academy

Admission free