Gwilym Prichard was born in Llanystumdwy, near Criccieth, in 1931. He trained at Birmingham College of Art, then taught in Anglesey until 1973, after which he became a full time artist. Following Sir Kyffin Williams' death in 2006, Gwilym assumed the mantle of senior figure in Welsh landscape painting and was one of Wales’ most admired and successful artists.
He was noted for his dramatic and colourful palette, and for applying the paint thickly and expressively into forms that pare the Welsh landscape down to its essentials. Ceri Richards once said that Gwilym Prichard 'painted the bones beneath the land'. In so doing, he managed to display his joy in the richness and beauty of his native land.
Gwilym spent many years living in Brittany, France, where he exhibited regularly and was also widely admired. In 1995 he was awarded the Silver Medal by the French Academy of Arts, Sciences and Letters. He was elected to the Royal Cambrian Academy in 1970, and was an Honorary Fellow of the University of Wales. In 1999 he returned to live and work in Wales, making regular painting trips throughout north and west Wales. Gwilym died in June 2015.