John Piper's Mountains of Wales head deep into beautiful Pembrokeshire

By Culture24 Reporter | 13 July 2012
a painting of looming hills surrounding a tarn or lake
The Rise of the Dovey (1943-44). Oil on gessoed canvas mounted on board, private collection© The John Piper Estate
Exhibition: John Piper: The Mountains of Wales, Oriel y Parc Gallery in St Davids, Pembrokeshire until October 7 2012.

John Piper’s famous watercolours of the mountains of Wales are currently holidaying on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast with a fitting spell at Oriel y Parc gallery in St Davids – part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Visitor Centre.

The gallery was built to house a collection of Pembrokeshire-themed works bequeathed to the nation by Graham Sutherland. It is also the Pembrokeshire outpost of Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales - whose landscape collection appears in various guises at the venue.

Now their touring exhibition of watercolours, John Piper: The Mountains of Wales, is in residence after its tenure earlier in the year at Cardiff.

Central to the new display is an exceptional private collection of views of Snowdonia made by Piper between 1943 and 1951.

A stunning series of semi abstract watercolours, these paintings have become recognised as key landscape works by an artist who formed a strong bond with the Welsh landscape during the1940s and early 1950s, when he travelled extensively from rented cottages in Snowdonia. 

The exhibition also includes some his images of Pembrokeshire and there is an extra treat for fans of mid-century British landscape art with a selection of works by Sutherland, on display in the back gallery.

  • An illustrated book with accompanying essays by exhibition curator Melissa Munro, including an essay by David Fraser Jenkins, formerly Senior Curator at Tate, is avaibale for £9.99. See the Amgueddfa Cymru shop for more details.

  • For more information about Oriel y Parc see the Pembrokeshire Coast website.
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