Paintings and Drawings

This collection includes works on paper and canvas with:

  • 4000 framed items
  • 8000 mounted items 
  • Over 500 Drawing Volumes

This substantial collection includes paintings by masters such as

  • J M W Turner, (Aberdulais Mill and Dolbadarn Castle) a regular visitor to Wales during his career
  • Richard Wilson, an extremely important landscape artist who influenced Turner and Constable
  • Thomas Gainsborough, a famous landscape and portrait artist from the 18th century
  • Thomas Jones Pencerrig a Welsh landscape artist of some considerable talent, one of Wilson’s pupils
  • James Ward, a romantic artist from England

Wales was discovered by a number of prominent artists for the first time during the second half of the 18th century. This is reflected in the Library’s watercolour collection which includes the works of:

  • Samuel Hieronymus Grimm who travelled through Wales in 1777 drawing Welsh scenery
  • Thomas Pennant, Downing, Flintshire, who published the story of his journeys through Scotland and Wales 1772-1796. Splendid copies of his books can be seen in the collection, with drawings by Moses Griffith and John Ingleby
  • Richard Colt-Hoare travelled in 1791 recording places of antiquity
  • The fruits of his journeys are Thomas Rowlandson‘s Welsh pictures in 1797
  • John ‘Warwick’ Smith, president of ‘The Old Watercolour Society’, who travelled regularly through Wales between 1784-1804. There are over 150 of his pictures in the collection

Artisan Painters

There are also works by more traditional native artists such as

  • A collection of portraits by William Roos
  • Hugh Hughes a portrait artist who was sponsored by the middle classes in Wales during the 19th century
  • The Reverend Evan Williams
  • The Reverend Robert Hughes Uwchlaw’r Ffynnon, Llŷn who started painting when he was 50 years old

Contemporary work

Contemporary works include pictures by artists such as

  • Augustus John
  • Gwen John
  • David Jones
  • Evan Walters
  • John Elwyn
  • Brenda Chamberlain
  • John Piper
  • Claudia Williams
  • Gwilym Prichard

Kyffin Williams: there is a very large collection of his work in the Library, including his paintings of Wales, the Welsh settlement in Patagonia, and drawings for his books and caricatures.

This material may be accessed by searching the Main Catalogue.