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John Piper CH LG (1903-1992)

John Egerton Christmas Piper, CH LG (1903-1992)

From the outset of his career, John Piper proved to be multi-talented, for he earned his living as an art and theatre critic while establishing himself as a painter and stained-glass designer. Though central to the Modern Movement in Britain during the 1930s, he soon moved away from pure abstraction to a personal form of Neo-Romanticism inspired by many aspects of landscape, both native and foreign. Instrumental in reviewing notions of Englishness, he wrote British Romantic Artists (1942) and was an ideal choice for involvement in Recording Britain (1940) and as an Official War Artist (1944). Sustaining a radical versatility, his later achievements included a notable series of settings for the operas of Benjamin Britten, as well as impressive bodies of oils, watercolours, murals, prints and illustrations.

John Piper was born in Epsom, Surrey on 13 December 1903 and studied at Epsom College (1917-21). A talented writer and artist from an early age, he kept topographical and architectural notebooks and illustrated his own privately printed books of poetry.

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