David Davies

(Australian, 1864 -1939)

"The Artist's Children"

40 x 28 ins -- 102 x 71 cms

Oil on canvas, signed

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This oil painting is a unique, unknown, wonderful work by David Davies, ( with a contribution from his artist' wife Janet ) showing their two children, Hanbury Davies born 1900 and Gwendoline Davies born 1896. The boy asleep, who was nicknamed "Ginger", is John 'Sydney' McCubbin born 1896 the youngest son of Australian artist Frederick McCubbin (1855-1917}. This painting was painted in relation to the only visit to the U.K. from Australia by Frederick McCubbin, in July 1907, which would have been a very emotional occasion. The Davies', both had been students, and fellow students, and were very good friends of McCubbin, who they had not seen since 1897.

February 2006 was a very interesting month when I first made contact with Penny McColm who is the Granddaughter of Frederick McCubbin, Penny lives in Melbourne, Penny was very interested to learn of this painting showing her "uncle Syd" - John 'Sydney' McCubbin, whom she remembers quite well.

I started researching this painting in 2002, I feel there is still more of a story to this extraordinary painting than I have been able to discover so far, David Davies was a 'very deep', reserved person...I wonder if...I ever will, But, I am really happy with all my research to date, as above, and with discovering this wonderful painting which I am immensely fond of. I feel I will remain the keeper of this truly remarkable painting, trying to find any sentiment from Australian art institutions is like trying to find a crate of chilled lager buried in the out-back. The Ballarat Art Gallery after many emails did eventually reply to me..''Two years later.'' The National Gallery Victoria were not so much better.............!!

It is interesting to see in this painting, the influence of George Frederick Folingsby (1828 -1891) who was  art master at the; National Gallery of Victoria - School, from 1882 to 1891. His students included; David Davies, Frederick McCubbin, Abbey Altson, Arthur Streeton and others, where his teaching were the art of; Dramatic Genre, Enlivened by Red, and Carefully Controlled Lighting.

David Davies paintings were almost all landscapes..

David Davies was born in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, in May 1864. Davies became a student at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1886, under the Australian artist Frederick McCubbin (1855-1917), and then under George Frederick Folingsby (1828-1891). His student works which included portraits were highly regarded. Davies won the first prize at the annual exhibition by students, at The National Gallery of Victoria - School in 1888. Two of his student works are: From A Distant Land (1889) which is in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, also, Under The Burden and Heat Of The Day (1890)  which is in The Ballarat Art Gallery - Victoria.

In 1890 Davies left Australia for Europe where he travelled to Paris and was to study at the Academie Julian under Jean-Paul Larens, where he was to meet, and then marry fellow Australian student Janet Davies in December 1891 at the British Consulate in Paris. The newly married couple travelled to Cornwall, England, where they lived for a short period, before returning to Melbourne in 1893. Then in 1897 David Davies, his wife and daughter left Australia, never to return, for Cornwall, England, where he painted and exhibited many works. In 1906 the Davies family moved to live in Conway, North Wales, where he travelled to many locations to paint in England and Wales, often with his friend and fellow artist Richard Heyworth (1862-1942).

In July 1907, the Australian artist Frederick McCubbin (1855-1917), was to arrive in the U.K. for a short stay from Australia, where the meeting-up with the Davies family, who lived in Conway, North Wales, would have been a very emotional occasion. McCubbin painted landscape scenes, which are recorded, where the Davies' family lived.

In 1908 the Davies family moved to Dieppe in France to live and work, where they stayed until 1932 when the family returned to the U.K. to live in Cornwall, England where they stayed until the death of David Davies in March 1939.

Janet Davies 1860-1939, the wife  of David Davies was a trained artist and teacher of English, she was a student under Frederick McCubbin in 1887 at the National Gallery Victoria, and was  a student at, 'The Academie Julian' in Paris and at the Slade School - London. Janet Davies was to sadly die 5 days after her husband in March 1939.

David Davies was a member of the Heidleberg School along with other artists including Frederick McCubbin 1855-1917, Tom Roberts 1856-1931 and Arthur Streeton 1867-1943. Their headquarters was a house given to them by the brother-in-law of David Davies, Charles Davies.

David Davies exhibited at: The  Royal Academy-London, Paris Salon, New English Art Club, Cheltenham Art Gallery, Ridley Art Club, Carnegie Institute-Pittsburgh U.S.A. and The Fine Art Society-Melbourne.

David Davies paintings are represented at: The National Gallery Victoria, Art Gallery South Australia, Art Gallery New South Wales, National Gallery Australia, Ballarat Art Gallery, National Library Australia, Musee Dieppe-France  and  Plymouth Art Gallery.

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