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William Williams Pantycelyn
Visit the Senedd from 17 October - 6 November to enjoy a special exhibition celebrating 300 years since the birth of one of Wales's greatest literary figures. ​
​​About the exhibition

William Williams Pantycelyn (1717-1791), is known as one of Wales' most famous hymn writers. He wrote over 1,000 hymns in English and Welsh, as well as poetry and prose. 

His legacy continues to his day, and it's not uncommon to hear his most famous hymn, "Guide me O though great Jehovah," sang at rugby matches in the Principality Stadium, although it is better known today as 'Bread of Heaven'.

This exhibition features artworks by Welsh artists Ivor Davies and Wynne Melvil Jones, brought to us at the Senedd to commemorate the tricentenary of William Williams's birth. ​

For more information about visiting the Senedd click here

William Williams, Pantycelyn - Ivor Davies

William Williams Pantycelyn Portait.jpg

​​We don't know exactly how William Williams looked. The only image available is a sketch of him as an old man, however the etching of him produced by his publisher has created an iconic and lasting image.

As a child, Penarth artist Ivor Davies used to see this image on the walls of many Welsh homes and for years he wished to recreate the classical memory of the icon.

300 years since the birth of William Williams, he decided to do it. He chose a special blue/black pigment from a vegetable source and after mixing it with 'casein', he​ drew the portrait on a bed sheet.

To finish, he photocopied some of William Williams's hymns and reduced them into tiny pieces to be used to cover the holes in the canvass. 

The portrait is part of the National Library of Wales' collection.

​About the artist

Ivor Davies is primarily an artist but also an art historian whose Doctoral thesis for Edinburgh University was on Russian art of the Revolutionary period.

In 1966 he helped Gustav Metzger organise the Destruction in Art Symposium, Davies being the first person in Britain to employ explosives in art performance.

In the 1970s he joined the Davies brothers to reawaken Welsh cultural and political consciousness as fellow artists of the Beca movement.

​Exhibiting worldwide, his recent exhibition at the National Museum of Wales was the biggest one-person show ever held in Wales.


Pantycelyn – Wynne Melvil Jones

Pantycelyn Painting.jpg

This picture of Pantycelyn, home of Wales' home of William Williams, was painted earlier this year by Ceredigion artist Wynne Melville Jones to mark 300 years since the poets' birth, and to celebrate his immense contribution to the religious, cultural and national life of Wales.

In an attempt to contribute to a national celebration, this painting has travelled to many locations in Wales. It has already been displayed at this year's Royal Welsh Show and Eisteddfod Genedlaethol in Ynys Môn, amongst others, in order to reach a wide and diverse audience.

The painting is a result of memorable visits to Pantycelyn and in appreciation of the very warm welcome received from Mr and Mrs Cecil Williams and family.

About the artist

Wynne Melville Jones is a Ceredigion artist who currently works from his home in Llanfihangel Genau'r Glyn (Llandre).

​The former art student picked up the paint brush after a 40-year break and many of his paintings are inspired by our rich heritage and culture in the communities of Wales.

His work can be seen in many parts of Wales,​ but some have travelled much further afield.


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