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    Description

    WILLIAM M. DAVIS (American 1829-1920)
    Jefferson Davis, The Forlorn Cavalier, 1864
    Oil on canvas
    15in. x 17.25in.
    Signed and dated lower right: WM Davis/ 1864
    Framed, old label on verso inscribed: The Forlorn Cavalier/ Painted by W.M. Davis of/ Brooklyn NY for/ Capt. E.P. Dorr/ sent to grandfather Merrin/ 1878 Painted 1864
    Provenance: the artist, to Capitan E.P. Dorr, c.1864, to Mr. Merrin, 1878
    William M. Davis spent most of his life painting and living in the area he loved best, Port Jefferson, Long Island. There he befriended renowned genre painter William Sidney Mount, who lived nearby in Stony Brook. Apparently self-taught, Davis was profoundly influenced by Mount, who was one of the most respected painters in America at that time. Although Davis was never a pupil of Mount's, surviving letters between the two artists show that Mount often gave the younger painter artistic advice and guidance.

    Davis opened a studio in New York City in 1868, but in 1872, he returned permanently to the Port Jefferson area, where he was affectionately known as "Painter Davis." Mount had died four years earlier, and to a degree, Davis continued in his mentor's footsteps, providing locals with paintings of villagers pursuing their daily tasks, the area's quiet bays and coves, as well as boats anchored or at sea.

    Davis exhibited at the National Academy of Design and the Brooklyn Art Association while living in New York City. Once he returned to Long Island, he exhibited exclusively in Port Jefferson, with the exception of a one-man show in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1894. According to the Bridgeport Daily Standard, Davis showed 135 of his works and had over 700 people in attendance. A major retrospective titled Port Jefferson's Foremost Painter: W.M. Davis was held at the Historical Society Museum of Greater Port Jefferson in 1973. Davis' works are housed in prestigious private collections and institutions, including the Suffolk Museum, Stony Brook, N.Y; the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, and the New York State Historical Society, Cooperstown.

    Condition: Canvas relined on new stretcher bars, craquelure throughout, minor areas of inpaint in background. Reproduction frame.


    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2004
    31st Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,676

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