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An image of From a distant land by David Davies

David Davies

(Australia, England 21 May 1864 – 26 Mar 1939)

From a distant land
Media category
Materials used
oil on canvas

80.9 x 115.6 cm stretcher; 125.0 x 157.0 x 8.5 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, brown oil "Davies 89".
Purchased 1968
Accession number
19th c Australian art
Further information

'From a distant land' is a work from David Davies' student years and reveals the academic teaching influence of George Folingsby, art master at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School from 1882. This firmly organised painting makes use of the most prevalent compositional device that flourished under Folinsgby: from a darkened room a door opens out to the glaring sun of the Australian bush, allowing the interior narrative element to expand into the outside world.

Davies subsequently left Australia in 1897, spending time in France and England and encountering plein-air painting first-hand. He eventually settled at St Ives in Cornwall, where he died in 1939.

Bibliography (15)

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 76 (colour illus.).

Leigh Astbury., Studies in Australian art, 'George Follingsby and Australian subject painting', Melbourne, 1978, 53 (illus.), 54.

Leigh Astbury, City bushmen: the Heidelberg school and the rural mythology, Melbourne, 1985, 41 (colour illus.). colour plate no. 7

Okko Boer, Masters of the Heidelberg School, Leichhardt, 1998, 82 (colour illus.). plate no. 82

Susan Bruce, A treasury of Australian bush painting, Adelaide, 1979, (colour illus.). colour plate no. 28

Kitty Hauser, The Weekend Australian, 'Envoy for our colonial past', pg. 2, Canberra, 28 Mar 2009-29 Mar 2009, 2 (colour illus.). Review section

Mervyn Horton (Editor), Art and Australia (Vol. 21, No. 3), Sydney, Autumn 1983, 348 (colour illus.).

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Painting and Sculpture', pg. 102-181, Sydney, 1999, 110 (colour illus.).

Patricia Macdonald, Exiles and emigrants: epic journies to Australia in the Victorian era, Melbourne, 2005, 112, 113 (colour illus.), 137.

Barry Pearce., Old master paintings from the USSR: A survey of four centuries of European art. Report, 'David Davies', Sydney, 1979. 49; catalogue entry

Lynne Seear, Brought to Light: Australian Art 1850–1965 from the Queensland Art Gallery collection, ''Strapped to the Mangle': Art, Work and the 'Lady' Artist. Vida Lahey Monday morning', pg. 112-15, Brisbane, 1998, 114.

Cameron Sparks, David Davies 1864-1939, 'David Davies: 1864-1939', pg. 9-20, Ballarat, 1984, 10, 33 (illus.). 10

Cameron Sparks., Art and Australia [vol. 16, no. 1], 'David Davies 1864-1939', Sydney, Sep 1978, 68.

William Splatt and Barbara Burton, 100 masterpieces of Australian painting, Adelaide, 1973, 56 (colour illus.), 57. plate no. 25

Editor Unknown (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, Sydney, Apr 1969, 454, 457 (illus.).

Exhibition history (4)

European masters and Australian painting from Australian collections:

Interiors - from the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales: Art Gallery of New South Wales Travelling Art Exhibition 1981, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 09 Dec 1981–03 Jan 1982

David Davies (1984-1985):

Exiles and emigrants: Epic journeys to Australia in the Victorian era: