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Sir Kyffin Williams World Record

A PAINTING by Sir Kyffin Williams has sold for what has been described as a “world record” price for the late Welsh artist's work by Twm Owen of The National newspaper

The oil painting, depicting a farmer and his dog walking through the village of Rhoscolyn on Ynys Mon, where Williams was born and spent his later years, sold for £62,000 at a virtual auction held in Cardiff.

Welsh fine art auctioneer Ben Rogers Jones said the painting had been bought by an unnamed private collector with strong local connections to the village featured in the painting.

He said: “The buyer is based in the south of England and has connections to Rhoscolyn and was christened in the chapel that can be seen in the painting. He is an old, established client with connections to the village and the chapel.”

The previous record for a Kyffin Williams painting, according to the auctioneer, was £60,000 for piece also sold by Rogers Jones & Co in 2016.

Ben described the oil painting sold on the weekend as a prime example of the celebrated painter’s favoured technique of using a palette knife rather than a paint brush and featured all the elements that have made Williams’ work so popular.

“It’s a very collectible painting as it has the chapel, the old core of village life, you’ve got the old farmer and the sheep dog and the village you put all those elements together, you have a very, very collectible Kyffin Williams. It is the holy trinity, the chapel, the farmer and the village.”

The painting had been in private hands, owned by a woman from the Gower, whose parents had bought it in around 1982 from the Tegfryn Gallery, Menai Bridge and the artist, renowned for his Welsh landscapes, is said to have delivered it to the gallery a day earlier.

It was sold at part of Rogers Jones & Co’s Welsh sale which featured Welsh art, ceramics and antiques and was one of five oil paintings, seven water colours and numerous prints by the artist, who died in 2006 aged 88, that featured in the sale.

The sale raised just under £400,000, said the auctioneer, and the pieces by Williams fetched £155,000 in total with one oil painting unsold.

Ben said he had persuaded the owner, who been considering selling the piece through a famous London auction house, it would gain its best price being sold by a Welsh firm.

“I managed to convice the lady it would have a better return from the market in Wales and I think that was justified. I think Welsh art should be sold in Wales where the audience is rather than being lost among the British and international art.”

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