|Date||21 June 2015|
|Location||Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Anglesey||SH 52085 69639; 53.20317°N, 4.21601°W|
Reginald John “Rex” Whistler (1905-1944) was born in Kent and, after initially starting to study art at the Royal Academy, attended University College London’s Slade School of Art from age 17 to 21. Not long afterwards he completed his first major commission, a mural entitled The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats (unveiled in 1927) for the restaurant of the Tate Gallery (now known as Tate Britain). Whistler was a talented artist who worked in a great variety of disciplines, including portraits and landscapes, murals, posters and book illustrations, porcelain designs, and stage and costume design. He was a popular guest at many country houses where he created a number of murals, which were in vogue in the inter-war years. During the Second World War he served as a Lieutenant in the Welsh Guards and was sent to Normandy after the D-Day landings. He was killed there in Caen on his first day of action.
In the 1930s the 6th Marquess of Anglesey had to sell off the Paget family home in Staffordshire and Plas Newydd, the family’s country retreat in Anglesey, became their home. The Marchioness, Lady Victoria Marjorie Harriet Manners, took charge of re-decorating the property and Whistler was commissioned in 1936 to create a mural for the dining room. Completed in the 1937, the piece, entitled Claudian Fantasy, is at 17 metres long the largest canvas painting in the UK. The work incorporates many tricks of perspective and continues onto two side walls giving a fascinating three-dimensional effect.