'Pen-y-Bont Inn', Ystradgynlais

© estate of Josef Herman. All rights reserved, DACS 2024. Image credit: y Gaer Museum, Art Gallery & Library

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Ystradgynlais is a former iron working and coalmining town in the south of Powys, Wales. Josef Herman lived there from 1944 to 1955, taking rooms at the Pen-y-bont Inn for the first four years. Pen-y-bont Inn is painted at twilight, Herman’s favourite time of day, with a warm glowing light, ‘which reddened the stone walls of the cottages and the outline of the stark trees’. The Tawe Bridge, seen in the background, recalls a significant event in the evolution of Herman’s imagination when he was struck by the effect of miners crossing it against a glowing sky. He wrote that this image ‘mystified me for years with its mixture of sadness and grandeur, and it became the source of my work for many years to come’.

y Gaer – Museum, Art Gallery & Library



'Pen-y-Bont Inn', Ystradgynlais




oil on canvas


H 80.4 x W 90.9 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased with the assistance of the Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, the Art Fund and a grant from the Brecknock Art Trust, 2008

Work type



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y Gaer – Museum, Art Gallery & Library

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