Saturday, August 18, 2007

David Jones by John Uzzell Edwards

Don't know much about this portrait of David Jones other than it is by fellow Welsh artist John Uzzell Edwards.

Edwards and his wife Mary once memorably visited David Jones when he was an old man living in a single room at a residential hotel in Harrow, on the outskirts of London.

They entered his darkened abode via some steps and when their eyes became accustomed to the gloom they discerned hundreds of books piled from floor to ceiling. Papers were scattered over the table, on the draining board, across the bed.

They saw a crate of grapefruit; several boxes of processed cheese; eggs in every cup. On the walls were etchings and inscriptions.

The small grey-haired figure standing before them smoked a cigarette. He made them tea after removing the eggs from the cups. He showed them sketches; examples of calligraphy; and stones. He talked of fellow artists - intimated his preference for Gwen John's work over her brother's.

He was a hermit. One of the few occasions he'd ventured forth in his later years was to visit a Bonnard exhibition, an artist he had met many years before in Paris.

Jones died in 1974. John Uzzell Edwards is still alive today. I have no idea who owns this portrait or where it hangs.