Ducks by a watermill
by David Davies

Other Artworks

Artist biography

View full artist profile

David Davies studied art at the Ballarat School of Mines and Industries and the National Gallery School, Melbourne, under G.F. Folingsby (1887-1890). In 1885 he joined the Buonarotti Club which counted E. Phillips Fox, Frederick McCubbin and Tom Roberts among its members. In 1890 he travelled to Europe where he continued his studies under Jean-Paul Laurens at the Académie Julian in Paris. While there he met and married fellow student Janet Sophia Davies and together they went to live in the artist's colony in St Ives, Cornwall. They returned to Australia in 1893 and the following year he painted his well-known landscape Moonrise, which was exhibited at the Society of Artists of Victoria and became part of the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Victoria in 1895 (it now hangs in the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide). This work was widely admired and demonstrated a new understanding of light and atmosphere. In subsequent years, many nostalgic landscapes seen at night, by moonlight or in mist were produced by what became known as the Melbourne School. In 1897 Davies and his family returned to Cornwall and he began exhibiting at the New English Art Club and the Royal Academy. From 1908 to 1932 the Davies lived in Dieppe on the Normandy coast before returning to Cornwall.

Group Exhibitions

1945, David Davies, Frederick McCubbin, Walter Withers, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
2002, Nocturne: Images of Night and Darkness from Colonial to Contemporary, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery

Solo Exhibitions

1985, Ballarat Art Gallery (also presented at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney)

Museum and Gallery Holdings

Adelaide (AG of South Australia): Moonrise (1893, oil on canvas); St Ives Bay, Cornwall (1904, oil on canvas)
Ballarat (AG): Under the Burden and Heat of the Day (1890, oil on canvas)
Canberra (Nat. Library of Australia): Spencer Terrace, Melbourne (c. 1925, oil on canvas)
Melbourne (Nat. Gal. of Victoria): Ercildoune, near Ballarat (c. 1888, oil on canvas); A grey day (oil on canvas); Seascape (Hayle Bar) (oil on canvas); A Hot Day (1888, oil on canvas); Landscape (c. 1889, oil on canvas on panel); Evening, Templestowe (1897, oil on canvas); Twilight at Ivanhoe (oil on canvas)
Melbourne (State Library of Victoria): David Davies papers
Sydney (AG of New South Wales): From a Distant Land (1889, oil on canvas); A Summer Evening (c. 1895, oil on canvas on panel); Cornish village at sunset (c. 1905, oil on canvas)
Torquay (Torre Abbey Historic House and Gal.): Dieppe Fish Market and Quay (1911, watercolour)