Aneurin Jones (1930 – 2017) Welsh Artist is quoted as saying “The world of my childhood was also a world of horses, when everyone farmed with horses and travelled on horseback”. (The Life and work of artist Aneurin Jones, 2014)
Aneurin Jones was a Welsh rural scenic artist that sadly passed away this week. Horses were the subject of many of his paintings including Working Horses, Welsh Cob show stallions, feral Welsh Mountain Ponies and horses at the Fair.
The Heavy Horse
The admiration Aneurin Jones had for the horse is plain to see. In the painting Barley Saturday, the horse is made the focus as he is proudly paraded through streets of a Welsh town. The animal would have been a Working Horse and this would have probably been his day off, a chance to wear his best brasses and show off to the adoring crowd. The sun shines on the centre of the painting casting shadows on the ground, the blue hue giving a calming feel to the paint giving a calmness befitting of a noble Heavy Horse.
Aneurin’s Welsh Cob paintings show the partnership between strutting stallions and strong armed handlers. In the painting Tyswysog (Welsh for Prince) the handler is trying to contain the energy of the virile stallion. Mirroroing each other’s prowess. Sketched quickly to capture the moment.
In sharp contrast in the Horse Fair paintings the partnership is broken between man and horse. Aneurin has the buyers at the Fair huddled together in negotiation and close contact debate on the worth of the horse. The men are painted in dull workmen like colours but the bay horse shines brightly from the glare of the distant sun.
Welsh Mountain Pony
The Welsh Mountain Pony played a very important part in Aneurin Jones’ upbringing, as he was brought up near the Black Mountain were the ponies lived, he loved grey ponies “I am convinced that a white horse has mystical qualities”. (The Life and work of artist Aneurin Jones, 2014) In the painting to the left the ponies are bunched together, furtive, he captures their slight apprehension. It is obvious that he has studied them watching the way they interact and their individual characteristics. The pony on the far left with the black forelock stands and stares at the artist questionally. Under the shadow of the hill beyond.
Aneurin Jones’ art focuses on individuals, be they horses or men. He captures their characters, their personalities and how this relates to the environment they live in. The colours Aneurin used reflect the Welsh climate and landscape. They are a true reflection of Welsh rural life and with his death we lose a great, insightful, era defining artist.
Please see this page’s link to view some of his horse paintings, which one do you like? Do you have any Aneurin Jones paintings? Please let me know what you think. If time allows I will translate the above post to Welsh soon.
Diolch am ddarllen, Marchoges x