John Piper came relatively late to the decision to become an artist.
Up to the age of 25 he was an articled clerk in his father's firm of solicitors.
When his father died in 1928, he decided to become an artist.
He trained at the
Kingston and Richmond Schools of Art,
at the Royal College, and at the Slade in 1930.
Over the next few years, Piper became more and more influenced by British abstract artists like
Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. But it is what came after that Piper is chiefly remembered for today.
By the late 1930's he grew less and less interested in the abstract, and worked on
what could be described as romantic fantasies on great houses and churches in
decay. For me, his paintings of bomb-devastated buildings during the war
are his best and once these haunting pieces are seen they stay in the mind forever.
Apart from painting, Piper worked on
book illustration, stage design, pottery design, tapestry,
ceramics, stained glass windows, textiles, and wrote on the arts and on the countryside.
He was made a Companion of Honour in 1972.
He died in 1992 aged 89.
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