Josef Herman

Rolf Harris journeys through the south Wales valleys towards Ystradgynlais describing how signs of the coal industry have now gone. He tells the story of how Polish artist Josef Herman settled in the town and started drawing and painting coal miners at work. Herman was one of the first artists to paint miners and his images have become some of the most celebrated images of men working from the 20th century. Rolf sees a selection of Herman's paintings and drawings and describes his style, techniques and subject matter. He then tries to copy the Herman style, travelling to a nearby working mine and painting Carwyn Donovan, one of the miners. Though he is initially pleased with the painting, after going to the Glynn Vivian art gallery in Swansea and seeing a Josef Herman mural for the Festival of Britain he realises that his initial attempt wasn't Josef Herman-like enough and decides to make another attempt - but one which is more heroic, statuesque and symbolic. He paints another portrait in his studio and talks us through his decisions and painting as he works.

Release date: 09 Jan 2013

11 minutes

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