Artist in Focus: David Jones - Paintings and Watercolours
David Jones (1985-1974): Paintings and Watercolours. A selection of work from our outstanding collection of works by the artist.
David Jones occupies a unique place in twentieth-century British art, and is often called the greatest painter-poet since William Blake.
Like Blake David Jones was a Londoner, born at Brockley, in north Kent. However he was the son of a Welsh father and an English mother, and the landscape, language, and myths of Wales were powerful influences upon his art.
Amgueddfa Cymru has the principal public collection of Jones’s work, but as he worked primarily in watercolour this is not on permanent display.
This exhibition focuses on his work in that medium, and will be followed by another which examines his engravings, book illustrations, and inscriptions.
Jones had art school training, interrupted by service in the trenches during the First World War. In 1921 he became a pupil of the artist-craftsman Eric Gill, and lived with the Gill family for much of the 1920s.
In 1924 Gill moved to Capel-y-ffin in the Black Mountains where Jones developed a vision of the Breconshire landscape that has its roots in the art of Cézanne. He was a member of the modernist exhibiting group, the 7 & 5, from 1928 to 1935.
Jones was permanently damaged by the war, which inspired his first great poem In Parenthesis (1937).
He had severe nervous breakdowns in 1932 and 1947, and often found it difficult to work. His later paintings are uniquely personal, being richly worked and full of allusions to theology, history and legend.