Skip To Content



Your privacy is important. Our Cookies Statement explains how we use cookies on this site. You can change their use at any time. You accept them by continuing to use this site. Our Privacy Statement explains how we use and protect your data.

FS35: Two Day Fine Art Sale

Bessie Ellen Davidson [1879-1965] - Marseilles, 1939

Auction Lot FS35/459

Bessie Ellen Davidson [1879-1965] - Marseilles, 1939- indistinctly signed bottom right further signed, inscribed and dated on the reverse oil on board 18 x 23cm * Biography. Bessie Ellen Davidson was born in 1879, in Adelaide, Australia, to a family of Scottish and English origin. She was the second child of David Davidson, who was in the mining industry, and Ellen Johnson Davidson. Her great-grandfather, William Gowan was a sculptor, and her grandmother Frances Gowan was a painter. She was educated at the Advanced School for Girls, studied art with the painter Rose McPherson (better known as Margaret Preston) and began exhibiting with the South Australian Society of Arts in 1901.in 1904, after her mother's death, she went to Europe to study art with Preston. They spent the first few months in Munich, where Davidson studied briefly at the Künstlerinner Verein, before moving to Paris. There she studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, where she met and began a lifelong friendship with Philippe Besnard's future wife, Germaine Desgranges. A year after her arrival in France, she was exhibiting at the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français and the year after that at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. in 1922 she would become the first Australian woman elected a member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. She was also a founding member of the Salon des Tuileries at which she would exhibit almost every year between 1923 and 1951. Returning to Australia in 1907, Davidson rented a studio with Preston and continued painting and exhibiting. in 1910 she returned to Paris and set-up a workshop in Monparnasse in the same street as Raymond Legueult and the Dutch painter Conrad Kickert. She made many other friends in Parisian art circles, including the painter Anders Osterlind. Davidson travelled to Australia in 1914 and was there when World War I began. She returned to France immediately, where she joined the French Red Cross and served in various military hospitals. During the war, she met the woman who would become her companion for the next two decades, Marguerite Leroy (d.1938), whose nickname was Dauphine. The postwar period to 1920 saw Davidson producing quiet, intimate, loosely impressionistic paintings - mostly interiors, still lives, and portraits - in muted tones. Her style evolved in a more vigorous direction in the 1920s and 1930s, with vibrant, dramatic colours laid on with a palette knife. She travelled around Europe, Russia, and Morocco making outdoor sketches that she used as the basis for later studio works. Her landscapes are notable for their quality of light and sense of atmosphere in 1930 Davidson was a founding vice-president of La Société Femmes Artistes Modernes. She was also a founding member of the Société Nationale Indépendentes and a member of the Salon d'Automne. in 1931 she was the first Australian woman appointed to the French Legion of Honor She exhibited widely with such artists as Mary Cassatt, Tamara de Lempicka, Camille Claudel, and Suzanne Valadon. Although still a citizen of the British Commonwealth, Davidson decided to stay in France during World War II. She lived with friends in Grenoble and some sources say that she was a member of the French Resistance. Her paintings from this period are strong, bright, and lively. in 1945, she returned to her old studio in Paris, occasionally spending time at a farm she bought near Rouen. in the postwar period she painted mostly outdoors on small wood panels. She died at Montparnasse in France in 1965 and was buried in Saint-Saëns.

Bessie Ellen Davidson [1879-1965] - Marseilles, 1939 (FS35/459) offered in our Two Day Fine Art Sale starting on 11th July 2017 at our salerooms in Exeter, Devon.

Lot Description

Bessie Ellen Davidson [1879-1965] - Marseilles, 1939- indistinctly signed bottom right further signed, inscribed and dated on the reverse oil on board 18 x 23cm * Biography. Bessie Ellen Davidson was born in 1879, in Adelaide, Australia, to a family of Scottish and English origin. She was the second child of David Davidson, who was in the mining industry, and Ellen Johnson Davidson. Her great-grandfather, William Gowan was a sculptor, and her grandmother Frances Gowan was a painter. She was educated at the Advanced School for Girls, studied art with the painter Rose McPherson (better known as Margaret Preston) and began exhibiting with the South Australian Society of Arts in 1901.in 1904, after her mother's death, she went to Europe to study art with Preston. They spent the first few months in Munich, where Davidson studied briefly at the Künstlerinner Verein, before moving to Paris. There she studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, where she met and began a lifelong friendship with Philippe Besnard's future wife, Germaine Desgranges. A year after her arrival in France, she was exhibiting at the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français and the year after that at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. in 1922 she would become the first Australian woman elected a member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. She was also a founding member of the Salon des Tuileries at which she would exhibit almost every year between 1923 and 1951. Returning to Australia in 1907, Davidson rented a studio with Preston and continued painting and exhibiting. in 1910 she returned to Paris and set-up a workshop in Monparnasse in the same street as Raymond Legueult and the Dutch painter Conrad Kickert. She made many other friends in Parisian art circles, including the painter Anders Osterlind. Davidson travelled to Australia in 1914 and was there when World War I began. She returned to France immediately, where she joined the French Red Cross and served in various military hospitals. During the war, she met the woman who would become her companion for the next two decades, Marguerite Leroy (d.1938), whose nickname was Dauphine. The postwar period to 1920 saw Davidson producing quiet, intimate, loosely impressionistic paintings - mostly interiors, still lives, and portraits - in muted tones. Her style evolved in a more vigorous direction in the 1920s and 1930s, with vibrant, dramatic colours laid on with a palette knife. She travelled around Europe, Russia, and Morocco making outdoor sketches that she used as the basis for later studio works. Her landscapes are notable for their quality of light and sense of atmosphere in 1930 Davidson was a founding vice-president of La Société Femmes Artistes Modernes. She was also a founding member of the Société Nationale Indépendentes and a member of the Salon d'Automne. in 1931 she was the first Australian woman appointed to the French Legion of Honor She exhibited widely with such artists as Mary Cassatt, Tamara de Lempicka, Camille Claudel, and Suzanne Valadon. Although still a citizen of the British Commonwealth, Davidson decided to stay in France during World War II. She lived with friends in Grenoble and some sources say that she was a member of the French Resistance. Her paintings from this period are strong, bright, and lively. in 1945, she returned to her old studio in Paris, occasionally spending time at a farm she bought near Rouen. in the postwar period she painted mostly outdoors on small wood panels. She died at Montparnasse in France in 1965 and was buried in Saint-Saëns.

This lot is subject to Droit de Suite.

Price Realised

£2,000

Department

Pictures

Sale Information

FS35: Two Day Fine Art Sale
Tuesday, 11th July 2017
Wednesday, 12th July 2017

Okehampton Street, Exeter

This lot will be sold after 2:30pm on Tuesday, 11th July 2017 as part of the Oil Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings and Pictures section of the sale.

Contact

For more information about this particular auction lot, please contact:-

Okehampton Street, Exeter

Telephone: +44 (01392) 413100

Important Notes

Please note our cataloguing terms.

Weights and measurements are approximate guidelines only, unless otherwise stated to the contrary.

Please note that we are unable to provide a wrapping, packing and despatch service ourselves, but we have negotiated preferential rates with Mailbox Etc.

Legal Notice

Please note that this sale will be subject to our usual Terms and Conditions. Your attention is drawn to our conditions of sale, our information for buyers and our information for sellers. Please also note our premium and commission charges.

Social Bookmarks

Please click the following links to flag this auction lot to others on the Internet.