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A summer evening

(circa 1895)


David Davies

Australia, England

21 May 1864 - 26 Mar 1939


Davies painted 'A summer evening' during an industrious five-year sojourn in Australia, which followed a brief period of travel and study in Europe. The work is characteristic of Melbourne painting of the 1890s, in the shift of its mood from the bright, sunlit imagery of the Heidelberg painters, to the pensive, restrained and fugitive effects of early evening light upon the landscape. In this painting David Davies moves away from Australian nationalism to a softer, European sensibility, possibly influenced by Whistler and other artists when he studied in Paris and England during 1890–93.


Other Title

Summer evening


(circa 1895)

Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas on hardboard


71.1 x 91.2 cm board; 92.7 x 112.3 x 6.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed l.r. corner, brown oil "DAVID DAVIES". Not dated.


Purchased 1896

Accession number


Artist information

David Davies

Works in the collection


Shown in 9 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 19 publications


Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 85 (colour illus.).

A selection of eighty-two reproductions mainly from the Australian collection and including examples from the British, French and Dutch [Art Gallery of New South Wales], Sydney, 1959, (illus.). plate no. 18

Julian Ashton., Daily telegraph, ‘National Art Gallery: The Australian Court’, Sydney, 27 Sep 1905, unknown.

A study of Australian art, Sydney, 1949, 56 (illus.).

Masters of the Heidelberg School, Leichhardt, 1998, 86 (colour illus.). plate no. 82

Nocturne: images of night and darkness from colonial to contemporary, Mornington, 2002, 10, 27. no catalogue numbers

Portrait of a Gallery, 'Australian Art in the Old Courts', pg. 24-37, Sydney, 1984, 32 (colour illus.), 33.

150 years of Australian art, Sydney, 1938. 76

The Australian landscape and its artists, Rushcutters Bay, 1977, 51 (illus.).

The Encyclopedia of Australian Art, St Leonards, 1994, 279 (colour illus.).

Susan McCulloch-Uelin, The Weekend Australian, 'Lunar dreaming', pg. R16-R17., Sydney, 20 Apr 2002-21 Apr 2002, R17. In the Arts section of the Weekend Australian. Review of the exhibition 'Nocturne'.

AGNSW Collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 21 (colour illus.).

A century of Australian landscape: mood and moment, Sydney, 1983, 15, 46 (colour illus.). 28

Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian', pg. 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 18.

Ursula Prunster, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Home and abroad', pg. 73-74, Sydney, 2000, 77 (colour illus.), 300.

Bernard Smith, 100 years of Australian painting, 'Foreword', pg. 2-4, Sydney, 1948, 5. 7; titled 'Summer evening'

Cameron Sparks, David Davies 1864-1939, 'David Davies: 1864-1939', pg. 9-20, Ballarat, 1984, 12, 40, 41 (illus.). 22

100 masterpieces of Australian painting, Adelaide, 1973, 84, 85 (colour illus.). plate no. 39

Unknown, The golden age of Australian art, Victoria, 1992, 52-53 (colour illus.).