View from Bidston Hill

WAG 1495


Bidston Hill is the peak of the red sandstone ridge that divides the Wirral peninsular. On its rural west-facing aspect, several substantial Victorian merchant houses were built. This view looks towards the Dee Estuary and the Clwyd Hills in North Wales with the peak of Moel Famau clearly visible. Davis here paints with exceptionally vivid colour but a rather hard finish. A hunter can be seen in the middle distance, pursuing a hare that is running in the scrubby foreground. When the painting was exhibited at the Liverpool Academy in 1865, the Liverpool Daily Post’s art critic described the inclusion of such a large hare as ‘an eccentric intrusion’ and ‘simply an absurdity. It is grotesque in size and its attitude is almost untrue’.