David Davies was particularly interested in the transparency of paint and he often used varnish as a medium to create a luminous feel. He even experimented with varnishing pastel sketches to give a porcelain glaze appearance.
Davies was born in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, the son of a miner. Both of his parents were from South Wales.
While still a student at the National Gallery Art School, he sold a painting to art collector James Oddie for a hundred guineas. This sale enabled Davies to pursue his artistic studies abroad, and he left Melbourne late in 1890. He travelled to Paris, where he studied at the Academie Julian under Jean-Paul Laurens.
Two years later, soon after their marriage in Paris, Davies and his wife, Janet, moved to Cornwall, where they mixed with the Newlyn artists’ colony. After a period back in Australia, they went on to settle in Dieppe where both taught to fund their painting.
Occasionally during the 1920s, Davies visited his friend Richard Heyworth in Cheltenham and they painted together. This picture was from one of these visits and was donated to the museum by Heyworth in 1937.