MOONRISE, c.1894

100 Highlights from the Cbus Collection of Australian Art
27 July 2022


(1864 - 1939)
MOONRISE, c.1894

oil on academy board

24.0 x 45.5 cm

inscribed indistinctly verso: … VIE …

$15,000 – $20,000
Sold for $15,955 (inc. BP) in Auction 70 - 27 July 2022, Melbourne

Dr W.R.D. Griffiths, Victoria
Leonard Joel, Melbourne, 13 November 1990, lot 264
Joseph Brown Gallery, Melbourne, acquired from the above
The Cbus Collection of Australian Art, Melbourne, acquired from the above on 19 November 1990


Moonrise, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Victoria, December 1973 – January 1974, cat. 9
David Davies 1864 - 1939, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Victoria, 11 September – 11 November 1984; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 4 December 1984 – 6 January 1985; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1 February – 10 March 1985, cat. 16
The Bus Collection of Australian Art, Wollongong City Gallery, New South Wales, 16 March – 12 April 1992, cat. 5 (as ‘(Pink) Moonrise’)
Morning, Noon and Night, Latrobe Regional Gallery, Victoria, 13 July – 13 October 2013


Sparks, C., David Davies 1864 – 1939, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Victoria, 1984, pl. 16, p. 37 (illus.)
Nainby, B., Stanhope, Z., and Furlonger, K., The Cbus Collection of Australian Art, in association with Latrobe Regional Gallery, Melbourne, 2009, pp. 16, 29 (illus.), 216

Catalogue text

A leading figure of Australian Impressionism, David Davies studied at the Ballarat School of Mines and the National Gallery Schools under Frederick McCubbin and G.F. Folingsby. A period of travel followed whereby Davies studied at the Académie Julian in Paris under Jean-Paul Laurens, before moving on to St Ives in Cornwall to join the plein-air painting artists’ colony. It was this influential period of study and outdoor painting in Europe which distinguished Davies’ work from that of his Heidelberg School colleagues.

Returning to Australia in 1893 and settling in Templestowe in Victoria, Davies spent the next three years painting his celebrated Moonlight series of nocturnes depicting tonal landscapes near his studio at dusk and dawn. In Moonrise, c.1894 Davies captures the liminal nature of the moon, caught between lightness and darkness, over the paddocks of sparse Australian grassland and tufts of scrub. 

Chief examples of Davies’ Moonlight series are held in the collections of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.