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1st March 2022
New Acquisition: Tess Jaray


The Derek Williams Trust is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of a work by leading British artist, Tess Jaray.  The work is titled Victory of Eraclio 2 and is on long-term loan to Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.

The development of Jaray’s distinctive abstract technique derives from the influence of travels in Italy as a young painter where she immersed herself in the art and architecture of the Renaissance.  She was inspired by the geometry of interior architecture, in particular ceilings, seeing how simple lines interacted to transform space.  Although Jaray’s work may appear nonrepresentational, it is informed by lived experiences of the visual world – what Jaray terms ‘geometry of human relationships’.  The work of one Italian Renaissance painter in particular, Piero della Francesca, continues to inspire Jaray’s work.  Victory of Eraclio 2 is an almost direct abstraction of Piero della Francesca’s Battle of Heraclius and Choroes, from The Legend of the True Cross c.1454-58 in the chapel of San Francesco, Arezzo, Piero’s only major fresco cycle.

Tess Jaray was born in Vienna in 1937 but moved to the UK in 1938 with her parents who were fleeing Nazi persecution.  She went on to study at Saint Martin’s School of Art and Design in London, 1954-1957 and the Slade School of Fine Art, 1957-1960.  Jaray taught at the Slade from 1968 until 1999.  She continues to live and work in London.


Image: Victory of Eraclio 2, 2019 by Tess Jaray, acrylic on board.  © Tess Jaray/Derek Williams Trust

Tess Jaray, Victory of Eraclio 2, 2019