Born at Llandilo, Carmarthenshire, 16 March 1870, son of a tanner. He obtained free tuition at Kidderminster Art School and was assisted by a public subscription at Llandilo to study at Antwerp for two years. He opened a studio at Llanelly for four years and was patronized by D. Pugh, M.P., lord Dynevor, lord Emlyn, Mansel Lewis, and Mrs. Gwynne Hughes, Tregŷb, Llandilo. His early works are signed ‘D. J. Davies,’ but later he adopted the name ‘Dyer Davies’ — from the connection of his mother's family with the Dyer family of Aberglasney — see under Dyer, John. A landscape and portrait painter, he also produced illustrations for Wales and caricatures which showed his advanced radical views. His best political cartoons are in David Davies, a political satire by Beriah Gwynfe Evans.
He left Llanelly for London, where he worked on the Graphic, but later he returned and opened a studio at Llandilo. In 1899, at the height of his popularity, he left for the Boer War to become a free-lance artist and journalist, and was posted to the Lord Roberts Horse Brigade. He stayed on in South Africa. His painting, ‘African Sunset,’ was shown at the 1924 Empire Exhibition at Wembley. The date of his death is not known.
Most of his works are owned privately, but a ‘Portrait of an Unknown Man’ can be seen at Llandilo council chamber and an oil-painting of the Rev. William Davies at Tabernacle chapel, Llandilo.
Published date: 1959
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