John Piper (1903-1992), the son of a successful London solicitor, studied law until the age of twenty-three when his father died. In 1926 he began his long artistic career, first at the Richmond School of Art and then under Sir William Rothenstein at the Royal College of Art.
From 1926 to 1940 he supplemented his income by reviewing art, books and plays and began to make a reputation by illustrating his articles for the Architectural Review with his own drawings. During this time, he was active with his paintings and from 1939 to 1940 they began to sell. In 1940 he was appointed as an official war artist.
In 1941 he produced the first series of drawings of Windsor Castle of H M The Queen – today she is remembered as the Queen Mother – and work became increasingly prized and sought after.
After the war and through the 1950s he was a Trustee of the Tate Gallery and a member of the Fine Art Commission, which he still remains. In 1971 he was appointed a Companion of Honour in recognition of his services to art.
Apart from his painting and graphics, he is well known for his stained glass windows at Coventry Cathedral, Eton College Chapel and Liverpool’s Roman Catholic Cathedral.
Between 1940 and 1977 he held over 30 one man shows, latterly at the Marlborough Gallery and his works are hung in galleries through the world, from the Tate in London to the museum of Modern Art in New York.
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