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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 August 2007, 13:03 GMT 14:03 UK
Sir Kyffin leaves 6m art legacy
Saint Jerome by Domenichino
This painting, left to the library, could be worth 1m
The artist Sir Kyffin Williams has left 500,000 to charities and other bodies in his will, with his estate valued at worth more than 6m.

The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth has been bequeathed much of Sir Kyffin's own art collection, running to hundreds of works.

A painting of Saint Jerome by Italian artist Domenichino is currently being valued and could be worth around 1m.

Sir Kyffin died of cancer in Anglesey, aged 88, in September 2006.

Among the beneficiaries of Sir Kyffin's estate, which has been valued at 6,187,017 net, are the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art in Conwy and printing press Gwasg Gregynog, based in Newtown, Powys, which both receive 100,000.

The Council for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW), the Tabernacle arts centre in Machynlleth, Powys, the Ucheldre Centre in Holyhead, Anglesey and the Artists Benevolent Fund which helps the widows of artists, each received 50,000 in the will, solicitor Huw Elwyn Jones confirmed.

Furniture from Sir Kyffin's rented home on Anglesey was given to Bangor University along with a number of paintings.

The National Museum Wales was also given some of the late artist's pieces, which have sold for as much as 75,000.

The Anglesey-born artist owned no property, having rented on the island, did not marry or have children and according to his godson Nicholas Sinclair, lived a frugal life.

Sir Kyffin Williams
His great passion in life was painting and he also had a very close circle of friends so the car he was driving and the units in his kitchen were irrelevant to him
Nicholas Sinclair

His money came from the sale of his own work and from paintings he owned by other artists. The Domenichino painting was worth around 1m, estimated Mr Sinclair.

He was also not surprised to learn that Sir Kyffin had left so much to Welsh charities and organisations.

"He was an artist and the arts were incredibly important to him," he said.

"He gave a lot to charity in his lifetime.

"His great passion in life was painting and he also had a very close circle of friends so the car he was driving and the units in his kitchen were irrelevant to him."

The National Library of Wales said Sir Kyffin had bequeathed it around 250 oils on canvas, approximately 600 water colours and drawings, diaries, photographs and slides, original manuscripts of books written in long hand by the artist, several sketch books, letters and even passports.

Sunset over Anglesey - Sir Kyffin Williams' last painting
Sunset over Anglesey - Sir Kyffin Williams' last painting

Works given to or purchased by him are also among the bequest to the library, including the Domenichino and paintings by Sir Kyfffin's great-grandmother.

Paul Joyner, head of purchasing and donations for the library, said he suspected it would take around two years to catalogue everything.

The library would work very closely with the 1.5m Oriel Kyffin Williams, which is scheduled to open on St David's Day 2008, to loan paintings, he said.

A large retrospective detailing Sir Kyffin's place in Welsh art would also happen but not for a number of years yet, said Mr Joyner.

"There has been a long association between the library and Sir Kyffin," said Mr Joyner.

"Someone spotted him as an important artist back in the 1940s and since then we've felt that he was essential and central to art in Wales.

"It was a reciprocal relationship. He felt that the library was one of the hubs of Welsh culture and he felt very strongly that his legacy was preserved."

Friends say Sir Kyffin was modest but generous

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05 Jul 07 |  North West Wales
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25 Jun 07 |  North West Wales
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09 Dec 06 |  North West Wales
Artist's final painting unveiled
05 Oct 06 |  Mid Wales
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03 Oct 06 |  North West Wales
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04 Sep 06 |  North West Wales
Cathedral funeral for Sir Kyffin
11 Sep 06 |  North West Wales


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