A talented young artist at Plas Newydd
Rex Whistler’s magnificent masterpiece at Plas Newydd is an imagined landscape, woven into a colossal canvas.
The Whistler room at Plas Newydd was once a functioning dining room - in fact, it was once a series of smaller rooms that were knocked through to make one larger room. From one side of the room is a great view of the Menai Strait and with the addition of the mural, a landscape painting of mountains, harbours, towns and people guests were able to enjoy a view from any angle.
Rex Whistler created his first commissioned mural whilst still a student at the Slade School of Art. Once the mural was unveiled in the Tate Britain in 1927, he became sought after. Whistler first visited Plas Newydd at Easter in 1936, and the commission was agreed that April.
By July that same year, Rex has already created a smaller, detailed watercolour of the whole composition. The 58-mural is believed to have originally been the idea of Lady Marjorie, the wife of the 6th Marquess, but the scenery and details therein were entirely Whistler’s fantastical imagination and playfulness. As well as a commissioned artist during his time at Plas Newydd, he was also a much-welcomed guest of the 6th Marquess’s family, attending parties and staying at the house.
Rex Whistler always intended to return to Plas Newydd after the Second World War to complete some of the unfinished details of the mural. Tragically, he was killed on his first day of active duty in France on the 18 July 1944.