#ONTHISDAYINWALES in 1983 Llanelli and Lions great Carwyn James passed away

Guto Owen runs a blog looking forward to the Lions tour to Australia in 2013. And today he’s written a post on one of the true enigmas of world rugby. Carwyn James. Enjoy.

Mae Guto Owen yn rhedeg blog yn edrych ymlaen at daith y Llewod i Awstralia yn 2013. Heddiw mae wedi ysgrifennu darn ar un o gewri y byd rygbi. Carwyn James. Mwynhewch.

Lion Coach

Lions Coach in 1971

Carwyn Rees James. 2/11/1929 – 10/1/1983

#ONTHISDAYINWALES in 1873 Chris Williams was born

On this day in Wales in 1873 Christopher Williams, one of the leading figures in Welsh art during his career was born in Maesteg. A prominent portrait artist he completed a number of high profile commissions. He is best known for his imposing classical subjects, including Deffroad Cymru (The Awakening of Wales) and his large scale classical interpretations of the Mabinogion.

Schooled in Neath at the Llynfi Ironworks School his talent was first recognised by artist F J Kerr. In 1893 he won a scholarship to the prestigious Royal College of Art and from there he attended the oldest art school in Britain, the Royal Academy Schools.

Williams was offered commission after commission. In 1911 he painted The Investiture of Edward, Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle and later three portraits of former Welsh Prime Minister David Lloyd George. He was also commissioned by Lloyd George to paint The Charge of the Welsh Division at Mametz Wood.

He was a portraitist as well as a landscapist. Richard Lloyd, Sir John Rhys, John Parry Jones and Richard Lloyd all sat for him. Examples of his landscapes include Storm over Cader Idris and Sunset in the Welsh Hills. The Red Dress is held at the National Museum Wales and Holidays – Village Girls at Llangrannog at the National Library of Wales. His landscape painting took him all over the world including Switzerland, Holland and Morocco.

Some of his most striking work came in the form of three paintings inspired by three scenes from the Mabinogion. They include Ceridwen (1910) and Branwen which are in the collection of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea (1915) and Blodeuwedd (1930) which you can see at the Newport Museum and Art Gallery.

On 7 July last year the Christopher Williams exhibition at the National Library of Wales opened. In his NLW Blog, Siôn Jobbins writes that one of Williams’ paintings is perhaps more familiar than any other. Deffroad Cymru is a painting of a beautiful woman rising, phoenix-like from darkness into light, a metaphor for the rise in Welsh national consciousness. You can read about the process of putting the exhibition together here.

Former MP Kim Howells officially opened the exhibition on 14 July last year and also presented the 2011 BBC Wales series Framing Wales, which featured Williams and his works. Watch this clip from the series, in which he talks to Robert Meyrick, head of Aberystwyth School of Art, about the artist.

Follow the link to watch the video

Follow the link to watch the video

Click on the links to view the paintings or visit the BBC Arts site Your Paintings (the subject of another Discover the Past post) to view over 100 of his paintings.

See how its done! ‘We Beat the All Blacks’ tonight on BBC One Wales at 10.35pm

Me proudly stood in front of the iconic  scoreboard

This weekend the mighty All Blacks come to the city and anyone who’s worried about the Welsh team’s prospects should fear not, because tonight you’ll get the chance to see how its done.

We haven’t beaten New Zealand in nearly sixty years but on a damp October afternoon in 1972, Llanelli RFC did just that – a victory which made history.

In a one hour special made by Green Bay Media for BBC Wales, players and fans look back and reminisce about the famous win and reveal why it has become such an important part of Welsh rugby history.

And who can forget Max Boyce’s famous song ‘9-3’? And that iconic last verse:
‘And when I grow old, my hair turns grey and they put me in a chair,
I’ll tell my great grandchildren that their Datcu was there.
And they’ll ask to hear the story of that dark October day,
When I went down to Stradey park and I saw the Scarlets play.’

So remember to tune in to BBC One Wales at 10.35 tonight to witness one of the great Welsh rugby moments.