About the NGV
National Gallery of Victoria

Exiles and Emigrants
Education Resource


The New Land

 
 

David Davies
From a distant land 1889

By 1889, mail was delivered faster as a consequence of the railway and steamship and the new shipping route through the Suez Canal. Letters were a substitute for actual conversation, the contents describing everyday life and family events and were of emotional significance to emigrants. Letters with a black border were used to express sympathy when a family member or friend died.

David Davies
born Australia 1864
lived in Europe 1897–1939
died England 1939
From a distant land 1889
oil on canvas
80.9 x 115.6 cm
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Purchased, 1968

 
 

NGV: Art like never before