Turner and Penry Williams exhibition at Cyfarthfa Castle

Thursday 29 July 2010, 12:36

Laura Chamberlain Laura Chamberlain

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Works by JMW Turner and Penry Williams are to go on show at Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery as part of the castle's centenary celebrations.

Welshman Penry Williams is arguably one of the best painters to have come from Merthyr Tydfil. Born in 1802 and the son of a house decorator, Williams used to work for his father decorating the homes of wealthy ironmasters.

On one particular job for the Crawshay family, Williams was caught sketching on one of the house's window shutters. The owner, William Crawshay II, saw his huge artistic potential despite his deviant act and paid for him to attend the Royal Academy in London. He graduated from the Academy in 1824, with critics at the time proclaiming him as good an artist as Turner.

Penry Williams' painting of Cyfarthfa Rolling Mill At Night

Penry Williams' painting of Cyfarthfa Rolling Mill At Night

Turner himself is one of Britain's most celebrated artists and is perhaps the most famous English Romantic landscape artist. Earlier this month his watercolour sketch of Flint Castle sold for £541,250 at auction.

The exhibition will feature 20 Penry Williams pictures from Cyfarthfa Museum's own collection, including his masterpiece Procession to the Christening, plus one Williams painting that's on loan from the National Museum of Wales.

These will be exhibited alongside 10 paintings on loan from the Tate Gallery in London that cover all stages of Turner's career, including two sketches from the artist's time passing through Merthyr Tydfil in the 18th century.

Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones said: "I am delighted that this exhibition is opening in Merthyr Tydfil. Turner is one of the world's greatest painters and visited Wales on a number of occasions.

"This exhibition will be a fantastic opportunity for people in the Valleys, and indeed across Wales, to see some of his beautiful works, including some of Merthyr itself. At the same time it will be interesting to compare them with the work by one of Wales' greatest painters, Penry Williams."

A River Seen From A Hill by Joseph William Mallard Turner

A River Seen From A Hill by Joseph William Mallard Turner

This one-off exhibition will run from 1-31 August in Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery's wedding room.

The gallery is also set to give daily 15 minute talks every weekday throughout August, as well as weekly watercolour classes and a family colouring workshops course. Contact the Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery for further information.

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