Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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DAVIES , DAVID JOHN (or ‘ DYER ’) , ( 1870 - ? ), artist ;

b. at Llandilo, Carms. . 16 March 1870 , son of a tanner . He obtained free tuition at Kidderminster Art School and was assisted by a public subscription at Llandilo to study at Antwerp for two years. He opened a studio at Llanelly for four years and was patronized by D . Pugh , M.P. , lord Dynevor , lord Emlyn , Mansel Lewis , and Mrs. Gwynne Hughes , Tregŷb , Llandilo . His early works are signed ‘ D. J. Davies ,’ but later he adopted the name ‘ Dyer Davies ’ — from the connection of his mother's family with the Dyer family of Aberglasney — see under Dyer , John . A landscape and portrait painter , he also produced illustrations for Wales and caricatures which showed his advanced radical views. His best political cartoons are in David Davies , a political satire by Beriah Gwynfe Evans (q.v.) .

He left Llanelly for London , where he worked on the Graphic , but later he returned and opened a studio at Llandilo . In 1899 , at the height of his popularity, he left for the Boer War to become a free-lance artist and journalist , and was posted to the Lord Roberts Horse Brigade . He stayed on in South Africa . His painting, ‘ African Sunset ,’ was shown at the 1924 Empire Exhibition at Wembley . The date of his death is not known.

Most of his works are owned privately, but a ‘ Portrait of an Unknown Man ’ can be seen at Llandilo council chamber and an oil-painting of the Rev. William Davies at Tabernacle chapel , Llandilo .


  • Information supplied by his sister and by friends.


Huw Williams, (1922-2002), Bangor / Prestatyn

Published date: 1959