Antony Williams trained at Farnham College of Art and Portsmouth University in the UK. He works almost exclusively in egg tempera which can be a painstaking and exacting medium, but which allows him to express a deep feeling about the look of the world.
All of his work is based on direct and intense observation, can produce as a result a very heightened sense of realism, where every surface detail is given almost equal and constant consideration.
Art critic Martin Gayford writes:
“When Williams paints human faces and bodies in tempera – whether his own, or that of another sitter – he makes the viewer intensely aware of surface detail. One sees, more insistently perhaps than one does in life, the little marks of wear and tear, the furrows and wrinkles…
Williams’ still lifes and portraits – like much art – underline the passing of time and mortality. This was the reason no doubt why his fine portrait of the Queen caused controversy.
Inevitably, his method, his close vision, revealed that that these were in fact the face and hands of an ageing woman. That is not how everybody chooses to think of the monarch. But as a work of art, and an exercise in sober, careful truth – telling like the best of his work – it was indeed, very impressive.”