N05315 ILLUSTRATION TO THE ARTHURIAN LEGEND: GUENEVER 1940
Inscr. ‘David Jones 1940’ b.l.
Pencil, pen and watercolour, 24 1/2×19 1/2 (62·5×49·5).
Purchased from the artist (Knapping Fund) 1941.
Exh: C.E.M.A. tour, 1944 (26); Arts Council Welsh tour and Tate Gallery, 1954–5 (53).
Lit: Ede in Horizon, VIII, 1943, p.135; Ironside, 1949, pp.16–18, repr. pl.30.
Repr: Exh. cat., Tate Gallery Continental Exhibition, 1946–7, pl.24; Robin Ironside, Painting since 1939, 1947, facing p.15.
This drawing, which was done at Sidmouth, is an illustration to an episode in the ‘Book of Sir Launcelot and Queen Guenever’ in Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, Bk. XIX, Ch. 6. Like N05316 below it reflects the influence of the artist's Welsh descent and Catholic faith in making medieval romances and legends in a sense as real to him as anything in the contemporary scene; this accounts for his ability to wed images of widely different origin, everyday objects, for example, becoming endowed with certain vital associations. The artist has described the picture as follows (written statement of October 1958, in part based on a draft by Hugh Macandrew): ‘The traiterous Sir Meliagrance has captured Queen Guenever and her knights, and hearing of her abduction and the wounding and capture of her knights Sir Launcelot comes to her rescue…