The Rainbow

WAG 8724


By the mid-1850s Davis began to focus on landscapes. His subjects were often in the local countryside. This scene is near St Helens, east of Liverpool. Davis’s paintings were admired by the London Pre-Raphaelites, but not by the writer John Ruskin, or by local art critics who described this picture as ‘an offensive daub’ when it was exhibited at the Liverpool Academyl in 1858. Davis rolled up the right side of the canvas to conceal the rainbow, which he felt had caused the criticism. The rainbow was rediscovered during conservation work on the painting in 1972.