John Dyer (1699-1757) poet and painter and his famous works

John Dyer (1699-1757) was a Welsh poet and painter. He studied painting under Jonathan Richardson. It was under Richardson that Dyer met his coffee house group of friends, Thomas Edwards, Daniel Wray, George Knapton, and Arthur Pond. He visited Italy in 1724-25. In 1741 he had entry into Church.

His most valuable poem is Grongar Hill (1725). It is a topographical landscape poem like Denham’s Cooper’s Hill and Alexander Pope’s Windsor Forest. He uses tetrameter fluently here which gives it a typical elan of Dyer’s own. His painter’s eye leads him to give a graphic account of short-lived visual effects succeeding each other as he climbs up from the Tywi Valley. His feeling for the picturesque, rooted in his study of the paintings of Claude and Poussin influenced the later Romantic poetry.

His other poems The Ruins of Rome (1740) and The Fleece (1757) are didactic and in Miltonic blank-verse. In The Fleece, he gives marvellous description of English scenery and the English industry. It is a typically 18th-century attempt to imitate Virgil’s Georgics. Nature and commerce are dovetailed here.

Also read; Edward Young (1683-1765) English poet and his famous works