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View from Bidston Hill

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View from Bidston Hill

Title: View from Bidston Hill
Date: first exhibited in 1865
Artist(s): William Davis (Irish, born:August 1812, died:22 April 1873)
Materials: Oil; Canvas
Information: Bidston Hill forms the apex of the red sandstone ridge that bisects the Wirral peninsular opposite Liverpool. On its rural west-facing aspect were built several substantial Victorian merchant houses. This view across heathland is towards the Dee Estuary and North Wales with the peak of Moel Famau clearly visible.

A hunter pursues a hare that is running in the scrubby foreground.When shown at the 1865 exhibition of the Liverpool Academy 'The Liverpool Daily Post' critic commented that the introduction of such a large hare was an eccentric intrusion.

Davis exploited the picturesque possibilities of Bidston Hill for other paintings. This picture was popular enough for him to have made another version. Both the colouring and paint surface are similar to his earlier 'Hale' and closer to the rather high-pitched pigments of David Alexander Williamson's Morecambe Bay pictures. Davis seems to have taken considerable liberties with the geology of Bidston Hill - replacing sandstone with what seems to be a white limestone.
Accession no: WAG 1495
Credit line: Bequeathed to the Walker Art Gallery by John Elliot in 1917
Location: Item not currently on display