Moonrise

Born Ballarat, Victoria, Australia 1864, died Cornwall, England 1939


Following his studies at the Ballarat School of Mines and the National Gallery School, Melbourne between 1887 and 1890, David Davies moved to France and enrolled at the Académie Julian, Paris (1891–93). After living in England and France he returned to work around outer Melbourne with his Heidelberg School colleagues between 1893 and 1897.

Working in Box Hill and Eaglemont, Davies was joined by Arthur Streeton and Charles Condor living at ‘Charterisville’, a stone mansion owned by Davies’ brother-in-law. Tom Roberts commuted to join the group on weekends.

While these artists painted their celebrated images of golden summer landscapes, Davies produced many twilight images inspired by French impressionism and the Whistlerian style which had influenced him in England. Less well known than other Australian impressionist artists from Melbourne, Davies was an active protagonist of this style of painting and its school of artists. Restrained contemplations of the landscape at dusk and in the late afternoon, the Moonlight series (1893–96) is his best known body of work in this style.

Returning to England and Wales in 1897, Davies exhibited at the New England Art Club and the Royal Academy, London, and subsequently spent much of the remainder of his life living and working in Dieppe, France. His work is represented in the National Gallery of Australia and many state and regional galleries.