JOHN PIPERBritish 1903 - 1992

JOHN PIPERBritish 1903 - 1992

John Egerton Christmas Piper was born in Epsom Surrey, on December 13 1903. He entered the Richmond School of Art in 1927 and a year later the Royal College of Art. In 1929 he left to marry fellow student, Eileen Holding. The early 30's saw him forming friendships with such artists as Henry Moore, Ivon Hitchens, Ben Nicholson & Paul Nash. He exhibited regularly with the London Group & the 7 & 5 Society. In the summer of 1934 after meeting the art writer Myfanwy Evans - whom he later married in 1937 set up their own magazine 'Axis'. Around this time he also collaborated with his friend the poet John Betjeman on the famous Shell Guides. During the war years he was commissioned to record bomb damage, most notably London, Bristol & Coventry. In 1944 he was made an official war artist.

In the post-war period, Piper became well known for his topographical work of Churches, Castles and Stately Homes, however he was also an author of books, prolific photographer, etcher, printmaker, designer of scenery and costumes for opera, ballet and theatre, creator of murals and stained glass for schools, colleges and churches as well as designs for tapestries and fabrics. In later years began making ceramics. He was awarded a Tate retrospective in 1983-4 which included our painting, then titled ‘Public Bar’.