Under the burden and heat of the day, painting by David Davies
While the young David Davies is best known for capturing the subtle effects of evening light, he did not shy away from depicting the harsh light of the Australian summer, as this ambitious work shows. Under the burden and heat of the day was his ‘scholarship piece’, which he submitted to the National Gallery School’s annual Travelling Scholarship in 1890, for which he was runner-up to Aby Altson.
Legend has it that when he returned to Ballarat after the loss, somewhat deflated, the Art Gallery of Ballarat founder James Oddie asked Davies how much he wanted for the work and then doubled the amount to 100 pounds, thereby equaling the value of the prize and enabling the artist to travel to Europe, where he stayed for much of his career. Oddie donated the work to the Art Gallery of Ballarat the following year.