For centuries, artists from Europe and beyond have visited Wales to paint memorable scenes of its landscape and people.

Many such paintings are displayed at the National Museum Cardiff, from French artist Alfred Sisely's view of Penarth to L S Lowry’s striking image of the Six Bells Colliery in Abertillery.

The museum is also home to a remarkable collection of Impressionist paintings by the likes of Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh. The collection was gifted to the Museum by the Davies Sisters of Mid Wales in 1951 and 1963.

The paintings of other prominent artists such as J M W Turner, Richard Wilson and Thomas Gainsborough can be seen among the collections of the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.

Artists from Wales

Artists from Wales have more than made their mark.  The works of the late Kyffin Williams, Peter Prendergast and Will Roberts are extremely popular and galleries across the country exhibit and sell original art by a wide range of contemporary artists.

You’ll find more information on the Welsh art scene on the Visit Wales website, along with a list of galleries and museums.  Wikipedia also has an article about the history of Welsh art.

National Eisteddfod

The annual National Eisteddfod may be best known for its focus on literature and music but it also offers a prestigious visual arts prize - the Gold Medal for Fine Art. Josef Herman (1962), Shani Rhys James (1992), Ifor Davies (2002) and Carwyn Evans (2012) are among the past winners.  ‘Y Lle Celf’ (‘The Art Place’) is the Eisteddfod’s arts and crafts exhibition and it is one of the event’s main attractions.

Artes Mundi

Art charity Artes Mundi holds an exhibition and international prize every two years in Cardiff.  The prize - £40,000 – is Britain’s biggest and one of the most important in the world.  Past winners include Teresa Margolles (2012), Liisa Ahtila (2006) and Xu Bing (2004).

Arts Council of Wales

The Arts Council of Wales is responsible for developing and funding the arts in Wales. The organisation includes Wales Arts International – a partnership with the British Council to promote international co-operation.  The Council is also responsible for Wales’ presence at the Venice Art Biennale, a contemporary art exhibition held every other year in Venice.

Courses

You’ll find a list of visual arts education providers on the Welsh Arts Council website.

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