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Sir Kyffin Williams OBE RA 1918-2006

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Kyffin Williams - Llanrhyddlad


Oil on canvas
16 x 22 ins (40.64 x 55.88 cms)
signed with initials 'KW' (lower right)

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Acquired from the artist through Tegfryn Art Gallery, Anglesey,
by the family of the previous owner

General Notes

Kyffin Williams' prominence both among native Welsh patrons and nationwide is reflected in his personal and artistic achievements. He became a Royal Academician in 1974 at the age of 80 and received a Knighthood in 1982, both recognition of his contribution to Modern British Art and the success he experienced in later life. His works became so familiar, and instantly recognisable that his paintings were often referred to as 'Kyffins'.

In the case of this painting, Kyffin depicts Llanrhyddlad, a hamlet in north-west Wales. It was a place in which he explored on several occasions, his other version, a drawing with the same title.

'My mountains and my farm houses were their mountains and their farm houses. They knew my stone cottages and the people who lived in them and they bought my pictures because they represented what they knew and loved.' - Sir Kyffin Williams

In the painting, he displays houses embedded among the hills. The houses which make up this remote village are as much a part of the landscape as the green hills they lie on. Like in many of his works grey, murky and thickly clouded sky dominates over half of the composition, perhaps a result of the difficulty the artist had working under bright sunlight potentially a result of his epilepsy. Fascinatingly, the image recto is starkly contrasted to the work verso, disregarded by the artist, as the canvas was re-purposed, with a complete work recto, it displays both the considered nature of Kyffin's practice and his commitment to portraying a variety of landscapes, 'the hills of his boyhood'.


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