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Welsh Primitive

Reference: Drawing volume DV56

The majority of the paintings in this volume are views of Aberystwyth and the surrounding area. It is more than likely that the artist is a local person with a considerable talent. The artist was working between ca. 1830 and 1853.

The paintings are naïve in their subject matter and execution. For example, we get the feeling that the artist is more interested in the subject than in the process of painting. Also, the artist works in a way similar to a craftsman producing a tapestry, emphasising every detail in the picture. We therefore get an anti-classical perspective with figures often varying in their sizes.

The artist's real interest is in creating a snapshot of everyday life in rural Wales. The work shows important events in the lives of ordinary people : baptisms, marriages and burials. He / she also produced views of people working in the fields and collecting shellfish. There are also a number of paintings that show local people enjoying the countryside with their families during their leisure time.

As well as the paintings in this drawing volume, the Library also possesses a portfolio of drawings by the Welsh Primitive. Examples of his work can also be seen in Carmarthen Museum, Abergwili.

Further reading

  • Paul Joyner. Artists in Wales c. 1740-c. 1851, Aberystwyth : The National Library of Wales, 1997.