Kyffin Williams was one of the most celebrated Welsh artists of his generation. He was born in Llangefni, on Anglesey. He entered the Slade School of Art in London, where he studied between 1941 and 1944, followed by a long spell as senior art master at Highgate School from 1944 to 1973. In 1968 he gained a Winston Churchill Fellowship to study and paint the Welsh community in Patagonia, South America.
His first solo exhibition in 1948 was at the prestigious London-based Colnaghi Gallery. Further exhibitions followed in major galleries in England and Wales.
From 1969 to 1976 and again from 1992 Williams was the president of the Royal Cambrian Academy. In 1974 he became a Royal Academician. He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of University College Swansea in 1989; University College Bangor in 1991 and University College of Wales in Aberystwyth in 1992. He put a great deal of effort into fundraising for the building of a museum at Oriel Ynys Mon in his native Llangefni. The museum now houses a permanent collection of his work.
He received an OBE in 1982 for his contribution to the arts, and was knighted in 2000. In two volumes of his autobiography Across the Straits and A Wider Sky he immortalised his literary skills as well. Sir Kyffin Williams died on 1 September 2006 aged 88, leaving a lifetime of paintings dedicated to his beloved Wales.