Summer: the Force that through the Green Fuse drives the Flower
Oil on canvas1968
About the work
Ceri Richards’ Summer is subtitled ‘The Force that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower’, the opening line of a poem by Dylan Thomas of the same title. Thomas’ poetry, and this poem in particular, proved a constant source of inspiration for Richards for many years. The artist is said to have transcribed the poem in his own handwriting and carefully decorated the pages, as a way of assimilating it into his own creative processes. Richards’ works based on this poem, however, are more than illustrations; they produce visual equivalents for the concepts and emotions conveyed verbally by the poem. For Richards, the poem spoke of the universal dynamic forces of growth and reproduction underlying both human life and the rest of nature.
About the artist
Born in Dunvant, a mining village near Swansea, Ceri Richards studied at Swansea School of Art. In the early 1920s, he attended the Royal College of Art where he later taught, in addition to teaching at the Slade and Chelsea School of Art. He often returned to the Gower Peninsula in Wales, which inspired his work. Richards became Head of Painting at Cardiff School of Art during the Second World War. In 1961 he won a gold medal at the National Eisteddfod and in 1962, won the Einaudi Painting Prize at the Venice Biennale. A versatile artist, he made prints, collages, reliefs, costume designs and paintings. He was a Tate Trustee from 1958 to 1965, and received a CBE in 1961. After Richards’ death, major exhibitions of his work were held in Cardiff, Chichester and London.
Ceri Richards (1903 - 1971)
- Summer: the Force that through the Green Fuse drives the Flower
- Oil on canvas
- height: 127.50 cm, width: 127.50 cm
- Purchased from the artist's widow, December 1977
- signed verso
- GAC number