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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 11 (February 1, 1938)

Great Gifts

Great Gifts.

Stanley Davis was a real artist in the widest and deepest sense of that much-misused word, art. He had a power of expression and interpretation far beyond the ordinary range of skilled technique with pen, pencil or brush. He had a sense of the eternal principles of art which enriches life. He had the right insight and inspired outlook. He could see into the heart of things.

His touch of pen or brush had strength and sureness—quickness with quality. To see him at a task was to see a master craftsman, easily able to achieve his purpose. Yet he was very modest and sensitive. He could be troubled by stupid blurts of critics, very limited in understanding and very clouded in vision. To him one could well apply the couplet of wise old Dr. Johnson:

Fate never wounds more deep the generous heart

Than when a blockhead's malice points the dart.

To New Zealanders Stanley Davis is best known by his posters, some of which are worthy of the walls of any art gallery in any country, but one of his main specialties was portrait-painting. A remarkable specimen of his skill is the big oil-painting of the official group and some of the public at the opening of the electrified Lyttelton—Christchurch railway.