Davies RCA, James Hey (1844-1930)

Davies RCA, James Hey (1844-1930)

British artist James Hey Davies RCA is predominantly known for his rugged plein-air landscapes, which celebrate the abundant British countryside. He also produced occasional genre scenes. Born in Manchester, England, he initially studied drawing at the city’s School of Art before enrolling at the Manchester Academy.

Davies is considered an integral member of the Manchester School of Painters along with contemporaries Joshua Anderson Hague (1850-1916), John Houghton Hague (1842-1934) and John Herbert Evelyn Partington (1843-1899). As such, he rebelled against his early formal teachings in favour of a naturalistic approach inspired by the French.

Shimmering rivers wind through verdant lands under heavy skies thick with clouds. While cattle meander to fresh pasture via rugged tree-lined tracks. Each view captured with meticulous observation coupled with an appreciation for the ever-changing effects of light.

James Hey Davies exhibited extensively including at the Royal Academy and Royal Manchester Institution. He’s represented at the National Museum Wales, Manchester Art Gallery, Warrington Museum and Salford Museum.


Born in Manchester, England.


Studied drawing at the Manchester School of Art under J Muckley.

Enrolled at Manchester Academy.


Debuted at the Royal Manchester Institution.
Stayed at Pont-Aven, Brittany, France.


Became an Associate of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts.
Debuted at the Royal Academy with ‘Calm Evening - Pont Aven’. He exhibited a total of 14 works.


Elected a full member of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts.
Spent time visiting Wales around the area of Conwy.
Furthered his studies by travelling to France and Sweden.


Awarded the Turner Gold Medal for the best landscape in oil via RA Schools for ‘Under the Opening Eyelids of the Morn’.


Became a committee member of the Manchester Art Club.


Died in Hulme, Manchester.

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