Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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INNES , JAMES DICKSON ( 1887 - 1914 ), artist ;

b. at Llanelly , 27 Feb. 1887 , was the youngest of the three sons of John Innes , accountant , and his wife, Alice Anne Mary ( née Rees ) . He was educated at Christ College , Brecon , and then studied at the Carmarthen School of Art . In 1905 he won a scholarship at the Slade School of Art , London , where he stayed for two years. Innes was never of robust health and, in 1908 , the doctors diagnosed consumption . During the next few years he travelled extensively on the Continent with various artist friends in an endeavour to regain his health. He visited the South of France with John Fothergill in 1908 , and it was there that he began to paint seriously. Between 1909 and 1913 he visited Paris , spent some time in Collioure and Spain with Derwent Lees , and in Marseilles with Augustus John , with whom he was a close friend and with whom he also spent much time in North Wales , particularly in Merioneth . He retired to Morocco with Trelawnay Dayrell-Reed , but the climate was not favourable to his health, and he returned to Brighton early in 1914 . He d. at Swanley , Kent , 27 Aug. 1914 , and was first buried at Chislehurst cemetery, Kent , being re-interred at Whitchurch , near Tavistock , 6 Jan. 1934 .

His early work was executed mainly in water-colours, but he soon turned to oils and concentrated on landscape painting . His work is distinguished by his use of jewel-bright colours, a trend inspired by his sojourns on the Continent , although even his Welsh landscapes are endowed with the same brilliance. An ardent admirer of Turner , Constable , and John Sell Cotman , his work, nevertheless, shows little outside influence and he appears to have followed no particular school or painter . He exhibited his first picture at the New English Art Club when he was 19 years of age and showed an exhibition of water-colours at the Chenil Gallery in 1910 . An exhibition of his work was shown at the Tate Gallery in 1921-2 and a further memorial exhibition at the Chenil Gallery in 1923 . In that year also a public subscription fund, sponsored by the Llanelly Star , was opened at Llanelly in order to acquire some examples of his work for his native town. His work is also represented in the collections of the National Museum of Wales at Cardiff , the Tate Gallery , London , the Temple Newsam Gallery , Leeds , the Manchester City Art Gallery , and the Aberdeen Art Gallery , as well as in a number of other public and private collections.

Sources:

  • John Fothergill , James Dickson Innes, Llanelly, 1887-Swanley, 1914 , London, 1946 ;
  • Thieme-Becker , xix;
  • T. M. Rees , Welsh painters, engravers and sculptors, 1527–1911 , 1912 ;
  • The Burlington Magazine , London , xxxii, xl;
  • Llanelly Star , 1923 .

Author:

Miss Megan Ellis, (1906-2001), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959