John Piper 1903-1992
Painter of architecture, landscapes, flowers and abstracts in oils, watercolours and gouache; draughtsman, collagist, printmaker; stained glass, textile and theatrical designer; illustrator, maker of reliefs and constructions, photographer and writer. Born in Epsom, he worked as an articled clerk, 1921-6, before studying under Coxon at Richmond School of Art in 1926, and at the RCA 1927-9, where he studied painting under Martin Kestleman and stained glass under Francis Spear. In 1927 he met Braque and Henry Moore and in 1929 married Eileen Holding.
He exhibited at the London Group from 1931, wrote criticism for the New Statesman and The Listener from 1933, and in 1934 began to make abstract constructions, becoming a member, and subsequently secretary of the Seven and Five Society. In 1934 he met Myfanwy Evans, whom he married in 1937, and worked with her on the magazine Axis. A friend of Ivon Hitchens, John Betjeman, Paul Nash, Eric Ravilious and Frances Hodgkins, in 1940 he worked on the Recording Britain scheme and painted scenes of war damaged churches for the WAAC, becoming an Official War Artist in 1944.
His commissions in the 1940s included a series of works of Renshaw Hall for Sir Osbert Sitwell and of Windsor Castle for HM The Queen. He continued to work widely on commissions and increasingly, on stained glass design including windows for Coventry Cathedral, 1957-61, and Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, 1963-7.... read more