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Blue plaque honour for influential Swansea artist

A painter widely regarded as Wales' finest modern artist of the 20th century has been honoured in his home city.

Ceri Richards

Swansea Council has now unveiled a blue plaque for Ceri Richards outside his former home on Fairwood Road in Dunvant.

Richards, who was born in 1903, went to Gowerton Intermediate School where he drew constantly and won many local art competitions.

At the age of 18, he enrolled at Swansea College of Art where he was inspired by the works of the French Impressionists, sculptor Auguste Rodin and both old master and modern drawings. In 1924, he was awarded a scholarship to study in London at the Royal College of Art.

Many of Richards' paintings are in the Tate Britain collection and Swansea's Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. 

He died in London in 1971.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Regeneration, said: "Our blue plaque scheme celebrates Swansea's most accomplished sons and daughters, so it's appropriate that we should honour Ceri Richards because he's among the city's most acclaimed artists of all-time.

"Blessed with an innate, extraordinary talent for painting, some of his rich body of work even includes fascinating interpretations of a Dylan Thomas poem.

"It's fitting that a blue plaque should be unveiled for Ceri Richards within a few weeks of the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery's re-opening following a major restoration and redevelopment project. Schemes of this nature will help ensure many more generations to come will continue to enjoy Richards' works.

"Also a talented musician, Richards is the latest in an ever-growing list of worthy people to have been honoured with blue plaques in recent years."

Swansea Council introduced its blue plaque scheme in 2012. Other people to have been recognised include rock singer Pete Ham, gothic novelist Ann of Swansea and Griffith John, a 19th century Swansea missionary.

Places including Cwmdonkin Park and St Helen's rugby and cricket ground have also been celebrated.

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