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David Jones - British Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - David Jones (1876 - 1939)

David Jones first began studying at the Camberwell School of Art in 1909. After graduating in 1915, he was still uncertain about his aspirations in the art world. However in 1922, he met Eric Gill who inspired him to incorporate more spirituality and symbolism in his work. Jones worked mostly in pencil and watercolors and preferred to paint landscapes, animals, portraits, and still-lifes. He was also a writer, known mainly for his book of poetry and prose about the First World War entitled, In Parenthesis. Despite his success and growing reputation as an illustrator, Jones seems to have become disaffected by the medium. He professed great disappointment in the way that his illustrations for Gulliver's Travels had been subsequently hand-coloured by art students, and complained about the reproduction of the very dark wood engravings for The Chester Play of The Deluge. This may have influenced his decision later in life to concentrate on painting. His style changed over time from more traditional watercolour landscapes to a unique mixture of pencil and watercolour resulting in dense and busy works full of symbolism. His best-known paintings include early seascapes such as "Manawydan's Glass Door" and later works on legendary subjects, such as Trystan ac Esyllt (Tristan and Iseult). He is also much admired for a genre that he devised later in life, which he termed "painted inscriptions", and these exert a continuing influence on calligraphers.

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