David Jones 1895-1974

David Jones was an English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, illustrator and poet.


Jones was born in Brockley, Kent, and studied at the Camberwell School of Art before the First World War. After demobilisation, Jones received a grant to study at the Westminster School of Art, under Bernard Meninsky and Walter Sickert. A turning point came in 1921, when Jones learned wood-engraving at Ditchling from Eric Gill, after which he began to work closely with the publishers of deluxe illustrated books.


He was an exhibiting member of the Seven and Five Society,  alongside Henry MooreBarbara HepworthJohn PiperCedric MorrisBen and Winifred Nicholson and Christopher Wood.


Jones suffered two breakdowns in 1932 and 1947, which divides his watercolours and occasional oil paintings into three main groups. Whereas his first phase echos a more medieval style, reminiscent of Eric Gill, the second weaves myth and history around modern commonplace motifs.


Between 1940 and the 1960s, Jones produced mostly inscriptions and signwriting. These creations took on an abstract form and relayed poetic and biblical texts in English, Welsh, Latin and Greek. Jones returned to his earlier still-lifes at the end of the 1940s, producing paintings of flowers in glass chalices.


A monograph on David Jones was published by Lund Humphries in 2016. Collectors included David Bowie.