Charles Harold Davis USA
1-7-1856 Amesbury, USA - 8-5-1933 Mystic, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Charles Harold Davis youthful interests included music, art, and literature, and by his early teens he had become an avid draftsman. In 1877, he enrolled in the school of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he studied drawing for two years under the German artist Emil Otto Grundmann (1844–1890). Davis then spent a year in Amesbury doing portraits and painting landscapes inspired by an exhibition of French Barbizon paintings in Boston.
In September of 1880, Charles Harold Davis and Edward Simmons, a friend from his Boston art school days who would later become a member of “The Ten,” sailed for Paris to enroll in the Académie Julian. Davis studied under Gustave Boulanger and Julius Lefebrve, but soon decided to leave the academy and moved to the Barbizon region outside of Paris, where he would concentrate on landscape painting. Later settling in Saint-Leger in Normandy, Charles Harold Davis remained in France for ten years, exhibiting each year at the Salon, where he won honorable mention in 1887.
Davis would become one of the most highly respected and original interpreters of Tonalist landscape painting in the 1880’s. His works were admired by his colleagues, promoted by the leading dealers of his day, and actively sought by major collectors and museums. The Tonalist landscapes and subtle twilight scenes that he sent home sold so well that he was able to stay abroad for a decade, a success which few young American artists could claim.
Davis returned to America in 1890, at the age of 34. After visiting Amesbury, he settled in the seaside village of Mystic, Connecticut in the fall of 1891.
Charles Harold Davis continued to paint in the quiet, poetic, tonalist style of his French landscapes until about 1894. By 1900 his style had changed dramatically, and his focus had shifted from a concentration on the land to the sky.
From the mid-1890’s to the mid-1920’s Davis gradually but steadily evolved toward a broader, more expressive brushwork, and a simpler, stronger sense of design.
Art Movement: Impressionism, Tonalism
Influences: Jules Lefebvre, Gustave Boulanger