From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878
Davis, William, landscape painter, was born in Ireland about 1813. The greater part of his artistic career was passed at Liverpool, where he was a member of the local Academy. The Athenaeum, says: "His character was singularly estimable, modest and unassuming in the highest degree, cheerful, industrious, persevering, conscientious. He lived bravely a life of much disappointment and some privation, alleviated by a keen sense of what is lovely and lofty in nature, and by the artist's power of realizing, for the delight of others, what he himself felt and saw... His merits have been warmly recognized by several of the best judges, but only slightly and intermittingly remarked by the mass of sightseers. He will assuredly not pass into oblivion, but he will hold a distinct and highly honourable position in our school of art... No man saw further than Mr. Davis into the opportunities of a quiet rural subject — a hedge, a stream, a drenched autumnal pasture, a flitting of light and shadow over an English sky, a farm with its sheltering trees and homely appurtenances. All this he felt keenly and thoroughly, and translated it into art, not only familiar and realistic, but touching, elevated, and on occasion even grand." He died in London, 22nd April 1873, aged about 60.
15. Athenaeum, The—Principally referred to under No. 233.
241. Men of the Time. London, 1856-'75.