'I felt then that I was seeing the mountains for the first time and seeing them as nobody had seen them before.
Maen Bras (big stone and rain) by John Piper, c. 1943
© The artist's estate
- Ink, watercolour and gouache
- 55.2 x 69.2 cm
- Art Fund grant:
- £14,472 ( Total: £26,800)
- Acquired in:
Each rock lying in the grass had a positive personality: for the first time I saw the bones and the structure and the lie of the mountains, living with them and climbing them as I was, lying on them in the sun and getting soaked with rain in their cloud cover and enclosed in their improbable, private rock-world in fog.' John Piper's 1943 stay in North Wales at the behest of the War Artists Advisory Committee led to one of his most productive periods, producing a series of great images of Snowdonia. Maen Bras Big Stone and Rain is one of the lighter works in the series, taking as its focus a large stone lit by the sun bursting through a gap in the clouds. Welsh stone is prominent across Wiltshire not least among the standing stones at Stonehenge making Maen Bras a charming and relevant addition to the Young Gallery collection.
Exhibited Phillips Memorial Gallery, Washington DC, 1948; sold, Christies, 2014. An Art Loss Register search has been carried out.