John Piper was born in Surrey in 1903. As well as his distinguished career as a painter, Piper was also a graphic artist, designer, and writer.
Piper gave up his career as a lawyer in order to pursue his artistic inclinations, and studied at the Royal College of Art, where Henry Moore was a teacher, before going on to the Slade. During his career, he associated with many other artists, both established and up and coming, including Braque, Leger, Arp, Brancusi and Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworh.
Having experimented initially with abstract painting, he soon became disillusioned and reverted to naturalism. He concentrated on landscapes and architectural views and some of his most memorable works were views of bomb-damaged buildings, completed whilst he was a war artist. His mature style has been described as emotionally charged and continuing the English Romantic tradition.
Later in his career he diversified into other fields, including stage design, stained glass design, printmaking, book illustration, textiles and pottery. His written works include various architectural guidebooks, as well as a book on British Romantic artists.
Piper was a prolific artist and his work is widely represented in the Tate Gallery. He died in 1992.