Sunday, 10 July 2011

July Meeting - The art of Claude Gibney Davies

 Click on images to enlarge
Photos by Samantha Haacke

On the cold and gloomy morning of Tuesday the 6th of July, a small group of botanical artists battled through Pretoria traffic to congregate at the Transvaal Museum (now called the Ditsong Museum of Natural History). We were to be greatly rewarded for our efforts...
Soon we were whisked away to a back room by the museum librarian, Tersia Perregil where we were first entertained by a talk given by resident orinthologist, Greg Davies (no relation to Claude), who told us the amazing and tragic tale of Claude Gibney Finch-Davies, a character possessed by his obsession for birds. 
Then we were allowed to pore over about 30 exquisite original Claude Gibney Finch-Davies artworks which Tersia had carefully laid out for us.
The bird paintings are hard to describe - each an individual jewel - each one displaying a perfect balance of painted realism and stylization to best represent each bird's unique feathering and colouration. Just utter perfection!
It was wonderful to see such meticulous attention to detail, and it left us all awestruck, and wondering about his working methods and techniques.

Thanks to Gill Condy for arranging this rare treat, and for introducing us to CGFD, bird artist par excellence!

~ Samantha Haacke

Read more about Claude Gibney Finch-Davies: 
  • Wikipedia entry - click here!
  • Click here to read the Getaway magazine article "The madness of a collector" by Don Pinnock (published in 2001)