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Duncan Davidson was born in 1876 in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He studied at Gray’s School of Art in Scotland, The Académie Colarossi in Paris, and the Slade School of Art in London, working with Impressionist Louis Grier. The Académie Colarossi was an art school in Paris founded in the 19th century by the Italian sculptor Filippo Colarossi. First located on the Île de la Cité, it moved in the 1870s to 10 rue de la Grande-Chaumière in the 6th arrondissement.
The Académie was established in the 19th century as an alternative to the government-sanctioned École des Beaux Arts that had, in the eyes of many promising young artists at the time, become far too conservative. Famous students of the Colarossi included Camille Claudel, Paul Gauguin and Amedeo Modigliani.
Letrr, while living in England, Davidson’s studio was a meeting place for the royal family during hunting season. He exhibited in London before moving to New Brunswick, Canada. Davidson was commissioned to paint the portrait of Canada’s first French-Canadian Premier, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, along with other leading statesmen.
He moved to Seattle, Washington in 1926, where he continued to paint and teach art until his death in 1947.
Davidson is listed in Who’s Who in American Art and was a member of the Aberdeen Art Society in Scotland.