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Sir Kyffin Williams R.A. (1918-2006)

Cliffs at South Stack

Sir Kyffin Williams was a Welsh landscape painter who lived at Pwllfanogl, Llanfairpwll on the Island of Anglesey.

He was born into an old landed Anglesey family and educated at Shrewsbury School before joining the 6th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers as a lieutenant in 1937. After failing a British Army medical examination in 1941 due to epilepsy doctors advised him to become an artist, and so began the career of one of Wales' most prolific artists. A doctor advised him, 'As you are, in fact, abnormal, I think it would be a good idea if you took up art'.

Despite academic difficulties, Sir Kyffin enrolled at London's Slade School of Fine Art in 1941 and taught art at Highgate School, London, where he was senior art master from 1944 until 1973. His pupils included Royal Academicians Anthony Green and Patrick Procktor and composers John Tavener and John Rutter.

Kyffin Williams is deemed to be one of the most popular artists in Wales of his time. His works typically drew inspiration from the Welsh landscape and farmlands. His works appear in many galleries all over Britain and is on permanent exhibition in Oriel Ynys Mon, Anglesey. He was President of the Royal Cambrian Academy and was appointed a member of the Royal Academy in 1974.

In 1995, Sir Kyffin received the Glyndwr Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Wales during the Machynlleth Festival. He was awarded the O.B.E. for his services to the arts in 1982 and a K.B.E. in 1999.

He died in Angelsey in 2006 after a long battle with cancer.

Oil on canvas
Signed with initials
24 x 24 ins


Private collection, UK

Royal Academy, London 1976, no.635

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