WAG 6249


William Davis started as a portraitist and painter of still lifes but later came under the influence of the Liverpool landscape painter Robert Tonge (1823 - 1856), with whom he made a painting tour of Ireland in 1853. Davis had a reputation for preferring aspects of the landscape which some critics, including Ruskin, considered dreary and unworthy of painting. The small landscape pictures Davis began to paint from 1853 were popular with audiences and admired by the Pre-Raphaelite artists Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 - 1882) and Ford Madox Brown (1821 - 1893), who appreciated the down-to-earth character of the paintings. Aged 36 when the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was formed in 1848, Davis was beyond his most impressionable years, being of an older generation than the London pioneers.