Sir Kyffin Williams was a Welsh artist known primarily for his depictions of the Welsh countryside, shepherds, sheepdogs, livestock and villages. Swathes of impasted paint applied with a palette knife give his paintings an almost three dimensional appeal. He carried the same solid rendering of form into his watercolours through bold outline and highly saturated ink.

 

Born in 1918 in Llangefni, Williams studied at the Slade School of Fine Art 1941-44, after he was advised to take up painting by his doctor as a 'quiet, undemanding' activity that would counter his epilepsy. Here he studied under Randolph Schwabe and Allan Gwynne-Jones in Oxford where the Slade resided during the war. Williams was a senior master of art at Highgate School 1944 until 1973, but in 1963 was offered a Winston Churchill scholarship to paint the life of the Welsh settlement Y Wladfa in Patagonia, Argentina, recorded in his autobiography A Wider Sky.

 

Williams was president of the Royal College of Art from 1969 to 1976 and received the OBE in 1982 and was knighted in 1999. His work is held in the National Library of Wales, the Government Art Collection and the National Museum of Wales.