Art Collections Online

Welsh Landscape with Two Women Knitting

DYCE, William (1806 - 1864)

Date: 1860

Media: oil on board

Acquired: 2010

Accession Number: NMW A 29527

Purchased with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund, the estate of Alan Thomas, and many private donors, 2010.

The painting is a romanticised Victorian view of ‘wild Wales’ and its ‘unspoilt’ people. It is a scene that the artist has composed, not observed. The younger woman is dressed in the recently revived Welsh national costume, in reality worn only on special occasions. Both are knitting stockings from scavenged scraps of wool, even though this was an occupation for the home, and one that had largely disappeared by 1860. It is full of contrived contrasts - between age and beauty, and between transitory humans and ancient geological formations - while the sickle moon suggests the cyclical progression of the universe.

However the different elements within the painting were based on careful observation. William Dyce was an important supporter of the Pre-Raphaelites’ aim to renew English art through truth to nature. His best-known work, Pegwell Bay (1858, Tate) is Pre-Raphaelite in its recording of the chalk cliffs near Ramsgate. Dyce stayed in the Conwy valley for six weeks in the autumn of 1860, where he admired and sketched ‘every variety of Welsh scenery.’ Welsh Landscape with Two Women Knitting, which was painted on his return to London, draws on this experience.


Sara Huws Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales Staff
22 October 2015, 10:54

Hi there Karen,

Thanks for your enquiry. I will pass it on to the art dept and get back to you.

Digital Team

Karen parker
21 October 2015, 13:17
Is the painting currently on display at the museum, if so whereabouts?
Has this been on loan/display in North Wales or Scotland, if not are there any plans for it to be seen elsewhere?
I notice from above that it has been on display in Florida, could you possibly give any information relating to this?

Many thanks

Sara Huws Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales Staff
2 March 2015, 11:45

Hi there Nikita,

Unframed, the painting is 36 x 58 cms (hxw).


Digital Team

28 February 2015, 14:56
Could you also provide information on the measurements of the painting? Thank you very much.
Sara Huws
23 January 2015, 09:20
Thanks for your comment, Christine - so glad you enjoyed our exhibition in Palm Beach. I will pass on your comments to our art department as I'm sure they'll be glad to know, too.

Digital Team
22 January 2015, 19:06
This is wonderful way to get info on paintings before visiting museum. I saw this painting in palm beach last week. Just fantastic. Thank you go loaning it to Florida

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