When you read or hear the name of the Welsh town Maesteg, what comes to your mind?
It is famous for rugby and football players, so that’s what you might be thinking if you’re a sports fan. In the art world, however, the name Christopher Williams would automatically come to mind. This golden nugget of a man was never given enough accolades, in my opinion. He did Wales proud with his paintings.
It all started the day, when as a teenager, Christopher went to the Walker Art Museum in Liverpool. He spent hours looking at Frederic Leighton’s painting called Perseus & Andromeda, which steered him on his path to becoming a painter. He studied at Neath in the Town Technical Institute in 1892. In 1893, he went to the Royal Academy. In 1910, he received a prestigious invitation from the Royal Society of British Artists to join their ranks, and he had nearly 40 of his paintings in the gallery over the next ten years.
In 1911, Christopher painted three portraits of David Lloyd George (he was the British Prime Minister, born in England and whose parents were Welsh). Lloyd George commented that Christopher was one of the most gifted artists Wales had produced. Real success came that year when he was commissioned to paint the Investiture of the Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle by King George V.
To make it so realistic, Christopher visited the battle site and used soldiers who had fought in it. They were engaged in fierce hand to hand fighting against the defending Prussian Guards before finally emerging victorious. Never before had a Bayonet charge been so realistically portrayed. It hangs in the Museum of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in Caernarfon Castle. The name of the painting is called Welsh Charge at Mametz Wood.
Christopher Williams has a lot of his paintings in the National Museum of Wales. I did find one portrait of Sir Henry Jones. It is hung in the Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery in the University of Glasgow. Yes, indeed, Glasgow. The University of Glasgow was his Alma Mater. Christopher went to the University on a scholarship to be a Presbyterian Minister. He also married a Scottish lady, and they lived in Scotland.
Christopher Williams had two sons, and one was also a famous Welsh painter called Ivor. Ivor had two daughters. One is an artist the other is a potter.
Paintings by Welsh Artist Christopher Williams
The Red Dress
Deffroad Cymru, the Awakening of Wales
Village Girls at Seaside
Mountain Landscape over a Lake with Trees in the Foreground
Coast Near Holyhead
The Remorse of Saul
The Investiture of the Prince of Wales, 1911
Alison A. MacRae is a self-taught writer and photographer born in Glasgow, Scotland. While attending secondary school In Yoker, Glasgow. Alison was introduced to the wonderful subject of History and the secrets it held. Throughout her life, she lived in U.A.E. Caribean, Texas and at the age of 17 took permanent residence In Canada. With her passion for writing and photography, Alison’s current residence is Hope Town Quebec. It is the ideal location to photograph wildlife. It is well worth the abundance of patience and stamina it takes to capture the perfect photos, some of which have been seen on National Television, Global National T.V. and the Weather Network.. To her credit Alison has written a Scottish Faerie novel, which she is looking to publish, as well her short story submission won first prize and a place in a book called Homegrown A collection of Gaspesian writings. . You may know Alison’s work from the Celtic Guide Magazine, no longer publishing. Currently, Alison writes for the Celtic Nations Magazine.