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The Open Bay

 

 

 

Painting

David Jones (1895-1974)

The Open Bay (1931)

 

Watercolour and bodycolour over pencil.

David Jones was born in Brockley, Kent, of Welsh descent. He was a poet and novelist of some distinction as well as a painter.

After military service in World War I he studied at Westminster School of Art in London. He converted to Roman Catholicism in 1921, and throughout his life the symbols and liturgy of the church played an important part in his art.

For a time he lived with Eric Gill and his family in Ditchling in Sussex and later in Wales; he was briefly engaged to be married to Gill's daughter, Petra.

His novel In Parenthesis (1937), about his experiences of the war and his poetry on the same subject brought him into prominence in the 1930's, but he suffered a nervous breakdown, and was thereafter dogged by mental illness.

In 1932 he painted Curtained Outlook and the theme of looking out of one view onto another recurs frequently in his work, often as an indirect symbol of looking out of one work into another. In such scenes he included many of his primary interests - landscape, flowers, birds and animals - all bound together in a delicate tracery of pencil or pen, and pale, transparent washes.

A major retrospective of his work was held at the Tate Gallery, London in 1981.

Article By: Dave Roberts.

First Published: 2007.

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