Born in Aber-erch, Caernarfonshire, his mother being the daughter of John Roberts (Siôn Lleyn, 1749 - 1817; the artist was also related to John Thomas (Siôn Wyn o Eifion, 1786 - 1859. He was apprenticed to a carpenter but, as he displayed some talent for painting, Sir Robert Williames Vaughan of Nannau, Mer., brought him to the notice of Sir Martin Archer Shee, the painter, who gave him letters of introduction to other artists in London, whither Ellis had gone in 1834 to study and to paint. Some of his work was exhibited in the galleries in London, and he won a number of art prizes. ‘The Battle of Rhuddlan Marsh,’ ‘Caradog before Caesar in Rome,’ and ‘The Fall of Llywelyn the last Prince of Wales,’ are three of his titles. The works by which he is best known in Wales are (a) the painting of a group of about a hundred Welsh men of letters for which William Morris (Gwilym Tawe) paid him 100 guineas, and (b) a portrait of Siôn Wyn o Eifion entitled ‘The Bard in Bed,’ which is reproduced in the 1861 and 1910 editions of Gwaith barddonol Siôn Wyn o Eifion; the original of (b) is in the National Library of Wales. There are in the Library also two of his books with original illustrations: (a) ‘The Book of Welsh Ballads illustrated in outline. By Ellis Bryn-coch .’ This contains seven illustrations dealing with ‘Bessi o Lansanffraid,’ a ballad by John Jones (‘Jac Glan-y-gors,’ 1766 - 1821, and (b) ‘Illustrated Life of Richard Robert Jones Aberdaron by Ellis Owen, Ellis Bryn Coch ,’ [ Richard Robert Jones ] which contains eleven original pictures. Also in the National Library is a copy of a self-portrait. He died 17 May 1861 and was buried at Aber-erch.
Published date: 1959
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