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Working Man in a Hat. c. 1910 - 20
Sir Frank Brangwyn, the son of a Welsh architect, was born in Bruges, Belgium in 1867. When Frank was ten he and his family returned to London. He was apprenticed to William Morris for four years and afterwards travelled widely. As well as working for 'The Graphic and The Idler', Brangwyn illustrated several books including Collingwood (1891), The Captured Cruiser (1893), The Wreck of the Golden Fleece (1893), Tales of Our Coast (1896), The History of Don Quixote (1898) and A Spiced Yarn (1899). By the early 20th century Brangwyn had a reputation for large pictures painted in a realistic style. He also designed furniture, carpets, textiles, ceramics, stained glass, metalwork and jewellery. During the First World War Brangwyn was an Official War Artist. In 1925 Brangwyn was commissioned to paint a set of wall paintings for the House of Lords. These were completed and rejected in 1930. This included the impressive war picture, 'Tanks in Action'. Offers for the murals came from all over the world but they were eventually installed in the Guildhall in Swansea. Sir Frank Brangwyn died in 1956.