Augustus John OM

Llyn Treweryn


Not on display

Augustus John OM 1878–1961
Oil paint on wood
Support: 316 × 407 mm
Purchased 1932

Display caption

At the Slade School of Art John had developed a style based on the Old Masters, but later broke away from this and started to paint brilliantly-coloured landscapes. In 1911-2 he made a sequence of landscape studies of the Welsh hills, using small wood panels and painting in the open air next to his friend and fellow artist James Dickson Innes, It was evidently a liberating experience, and the works he produced demonstrated his admiration of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Not inscribed.
Oil on panel, 12 1/2×16 (31·5×40·5).
Purchased from Antonio Gandarillas (Clarke Fund) 1932.
Coll: Purchased by Antonio Gandarillas from the artist 1914.
Lit: John Fothergill, James Dickson Innes, 1946, pp.6, 12; John, 1952, pp.202–3.
Repr: Marriot, n.d., pl.6 (in colour); Picture Post, II, 18 March 1939, p.44 (in colour).

For many years this picture was known as ‘The Blue Pool’ and it was only when it was bought by the Tate Gallery that its correct title was confirmed by the artist to be ‘Llyn Treweryn’.

It is most likely that John first visited North Wales with John Sampson, the Romany scholar, during 1901–2 when the artist was living in Liverpool. It was between 1910 and 1913 that John returned to North Wales, this time with the artist J. D. Innes, who had a great influence on him. It was Innes who liberated John's colour which became clear and bright, and John was obviously also influenced by Innes's broad handling of paint.

Llyn Treweryn is a little lake in North Central Merioneth which, together with Arenig and Llyn Arenig Fawr, forms a triangle in which John painted most of his Welsh landscapes.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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