Exhibition: John Piper – The Mountains of Wales

John Piper, Rocks at Capel Curig, c.1950. © The John Piper Estate.
John Piper, Rocks at Capel Curig, c.1950. © The John Piper Estate.

The Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, Until 7th April 2013

John Piper began to draw and paint the landscape of North Wales in the middle of the Second World War. He was sent to Snowdonia in 1943 by the War Artists Advisory Committee, and rented a succession of cottages there between 1945 and 1956; two of them, at Maes Caradog and Pentre, situated in the awe inspiring glacial valley of Nant Ffrancon. For Piper, the result of this relocation was a shift from picturing the landscape of the lowland countryside to that of the sublime Welsh mountains. The large drawings and paintings that he made in Snowdonia are amongst his strongest works and tell of Piper’s close understanding of the landscape of that place, and his connection with the rock and sky surrounding him. This exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery has been brought together by the National Museum of Wales from the collection of a private owner who has built up a wonderful group of works focused on this subject. The Whitworth will augment the exhibition with its own dramatic work by Piper of The Slopes of Glyder Fawr, 1947.

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