The Death of Tewdric
THOMAS, John Evan (1809 - 1873)
Size: 167.0 cm
Acquired: 2003; Purchase
Accession Number: NMW A 25991
John Evan Thomas was born in Brecon and studied under Sir Francis Chantrey, practising as a portrait sculptor in London. He is the first Welsh sculptor to establish a significant career largely through Welsh patronage, producing statues of the 2nd Marquess of Londonderry (Westminster Abbey), the 2nd Marquess of Bute (Cardiff city centre) and the Prince Consort (Tenby). He also sculpted subjects from Welsh history, contributing a mediaevalising statue of William, Earl of Pembroke for Pugin?s scheme for the rebuilt House of Lords in 1848. This sculpture depicts the death of Teudrig Mawr, saint and King of Gwent and Morganwwg, who died at the moment of victory over the Saxons at Mathern in around 630 AD. It has been described as a piet? composition, with the dying king cradled in the arms of his daughter Marchell, while a Bard, whose figure is taken from the famous de Loutherbourg print, looks on with harp. Thomas designed the group with the assistance of his brother William, who also trained under Chantrey. The plaster cast of the group won a 70-guinea competition for 'a sculpture illustrative of Cambro-British history' at the Abergavenny Eisteddfod in 1848, which was patronised by Lady Llanover. It was then shown at the Royal Academy, in 1849. The group was cast in bronze by Elkington, Mason & Co and shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851. This cast dates from 1856.