Welsh Landscape with Two Women Knitting

Image credit: Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

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This 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.


Welsh Landscape with Two Women Knitting




oil on board


H 36 x W 58 cm

Accession number

NMW A 29527

Acquisition method

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

Work type



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