Frances Darby Davis (1871-1962), Maiden of Camelot or Bronwynn of Wales (both titles appear in our records), undated. Oil. MMoA Permanent Collection. Donated by Mrs. Robert P. Anderson. Frances was the second wife of artist Charles Harold Davis, one of MMoA’s founding members.

Frances Darby Davis (1871-1962)
Founding Member
Untitled
Undated
Oil on canvas
MMoA Permanent Collection
Donated by Mrs. Robert P. Anderson

Frances Darby Davis was the second wife of artist Charles Harold Davis, and was one of MMoA’s founding members. Unfortunately there is not much information about her in MMoA’s archives, apart from the fact that she had been one of Davis’ students, she exhibited regularly at the Mystic Art Association, and she wrote reviews
of the local art exhibitions (none surviving).

This painting is listed in MMoA’s archives under a number of names, including Maiden of Camelot and Bronwynn of Wales. Bronwynn, or Branwen, the daughter of Llŷr, is a legendary character from medieval Welsh literature, specifically one of the four branches of the Mabinogi. Sister of Bendigeidfran (literally “Bran the Blessed”), high king of Britain, she was married to Matholwch, king of Ireland. Matholwch’s mistreatment of Branwen leads to a mutually destructive war between the two islands, the deaths of most of the principal characters, and the ascension of Caswallon fab Beli
to the British throne.