Captain Thomas Davies (1737-1812)
“Guava alba ducis”
Watercolor on paper
Signed and dated lower left
13” x 9 ¼”; 22 1/2” x 18 3/4” framed
Captain Thomas Davies had a distinguished career not only as a British officer, but also as an artist. British Army officers of the 18th century were instructed in sketching, not to encourage the fine arts, but so they could draw detailed pictures of military operations. Davies was almost unknown until the 20th century, when he became popular for his landscape and historical paintings, and his depictions of settlements along the St. Lawrence River in Canada. In his later watercolors,
done after the American Revolution, Davies was painting more for his own pleasure. His subjects at this time were flora and fauna from the West Indies, as Davies had served in the tropics during his military career, than along the St. Lawrence River where he had made his home. At this time in his artistic career Davies executed this delicate watercolor study depicting the sweet white guava,
which is found in Florida and the Caribbean.
Davies’ works can also be seen in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New York Historical Society.