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National Library to buy Alfred Janes paintings

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Laura Chamberlain Laura Chamberlain | 10:52 UK time, Monday, 18 April 2011

The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth is to buy two paintings by Welsh artist Alfred Janes in what is the centenary year of his birth.

Janes was born in 1911 over the fruit shop owned by his parents in Castle Square, Swansea. He studied at Swansea Grammar School and later attended the Swansea School of Art before winning a scholarship to the Royal Academy Schools in London. During his time in London Janes flat shared with among others, Dylan Thomas and Mervyn Levy.

The first of the two paintings to be bought by the library is one of his former flatmate and fellow Kardomah Group member Mervyn Levy, which was painted in 1931. The other is Self Portrait: Puzzled, painted by the artist in 1953.

Alfred Janes paintings Mervyn Levy and Self Portrait: Puzzled. Images © the artist, courtesy of Oriel Kooywood Gallery, Cardiff

Alfred Janes paintings Mervyn Levy and Self Portrait: Puzzled. Images © the artist, courtesy of Oriel Kooywood Gallery, Cardiff

Janes returned to Swansea in 1936 and taught at the Swansea School of Art before enlisting in World War Two, where he served in Egypt. After the war he returned to Swansea and his teaching post at the school, and for a period in the 1950s lived on the Gower Peninsular.

A centenary exhibition of the artist's work was recently on show at the Oriel Kooywood Gallery in Cardiff.

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