The Paintings of Ivor John Powell

The vision of a border Welshman

Chepstow Castle by Ivor Powell

44. Chepstow Castle

29.5 x 39.7cm. Canvas with new frame

NLW(PG 5874)

Ivor received a postcard of the castle in May 1974, and this probably provided the stimulus, as well as the specific view, to compose this picture. Soon after, circumstances became very difficult for him since Winifred began her final illness, and her death in August may have brought his work on it to an end. The castle was the Chepstow subject he was most likely to select. He would have seen its massive drum towers on many occasions, and he had seen his young sons playing there in just the way he shows his own figures doing. His treatment of his subject makes it a place of relaxation and pleasure rather than a defensive stronghold. It was probably more than having to abandon the painting early which accounts for the cursory treatment of some of the familiar details of this side of the castle. It was surely always his intention to use the castle as something of a backcloth for his social theme.

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