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Davis Gallery

The artists on display in the Davis Gallery were all born before the year 1900. Many of them them studied abroad in European academies where they were classically trained. They were also witnesses of, and participants in, the emergence of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism throughout the latter half of the 19th Century.

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The art styles represented in this gallery include:

Neoclassical Art (19th Century)

A 19th Century interpretation of the art of the Renaissance and Antiquity, taught in the prestigious academies of Europe. Neoclassical Art is based on the representation of three-dimensional space, and depictions of dramatic historical events, classical landscapes, and mythical themes and characters.

G.Victor Grinnell (1878-1946)’s Autumn Landscape, 1916. Oil on canvas (left)
Earl Kenneth Bates (1895-1973), Manayunk, undated. Oil on canvas (right)

Romanticism (late 18th to mid-19th Century)

Focused on emotive representation of individuals, nature, and “the sublime” rather than classical subjects, Romanticism emphasizes movement and drama; cloudy skies often cover as much as half the canvas. Visible brush strokes are noticeable.

Peter Marcus (1889 – 1934), Untitled, undated. Oil on board (left)
Arthur Meltzer (1893-1989), Wind Driven, undated. Oil on canvas (right)

The Pre-Raphaelites (mid-19th Century)

The Pre-Raphaelites sought a return to the themes and styles of art before the “corrupting” influence of Raphael and the other Mannerists. Inspired by mythical or biblical tales, Arthurian legend, or literature such as Shakespeare, this style is most notable for abundant detail, rich color, and idealization of Anglo-Saxon feminine beauty.








Frances Darby Davis (1871-1962), Circe Weaving Spells, undated. Oil on canvas (left)
Julian Joseph (1882-1964), Helene, undated. Oil on canvas (right)

The Rise of Impressionism (mid-to-late 19th Century)

Impressionism was the first great step away from the Neoclassical representation. It introduced a change in style as well as subject matter. Impressionism broke subject matter down into bits of color, often applied loosely, with the intent of capturing fleeting effects of light. Human subjects are most often middle-class individuals at home or in popular social settings.

Lars Thorsen (1876-1952), Chesebro’s Wharf, Noank, c. 1930. Oil on canvas (left)
J. Elliot Enneking (1881-1942),
Holly Hock, undated. Oil on canvas (right)
Post-Impressionism (late 19th to early 20th Century)

Post-Impressionism emphasizes abstract qualities and symbolic content. Post-Impressionists (including Paul Cézanne, Paul Gaugin, and Georges Seurat) continued using vivid colors, often thick application of paint, and representational subject matter, but were more inclined to emphasize geometric forms, distort form for expressive effect, and use unnatural or arbitrary color.

Marguerite Hanson (1898-1988), Tree Trunks: Near, Far, and In Between, 1969. Watercolor on paper




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