JOHN PIPER. 1903-1992

posted Feb 28, 2016, 10:51 AM by Tim Birdsall   [ updated Feb 28, 2016, 11:11 AM ]
John Piper was one of the most versatile English artists of the last century, a master of mediums including painting in oil and watercolour, theatrical design, book illustration, stained glass and tapestry.  Above all he is recognized for his printmaking and is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding printmakers of his generation.

Piper absorbed the principles of abstraction, surrealism, cubism and Pop Art and was able to combine them with his knowledge of Romanesque carving and stained glass.

Piper was appointed Official War Artist during the Second World War, his documentation of the destruction and devastation of war time bombing captivated the nation's attention and secured its affection.  After the war Piper continued to concentrate on Britain's landscape and architecture, capturing in both writing and painting the country's romantic heritage.

Piper died aged 89 after a long and distinguished artistic career and, although during his lifetime he achieved immense popularity, it was only after his death that demand for his work soared and he received a new level of critical acclaim, becoming highly collectable. His works are held in national collections including the Tate Gallery, the V and A and the Scottish National Galleries of Modern Art.

It was in 1950 that he began working in stained glass in partnership with Patrick Reyntiens, whom he had met through John Betjeman.  Their first completed commission, for the chapel at Oundle School, led to Basil Spence commissioning them to design the Baptistry window for the new Coventry Cathedral.  There are 195 panes in this window.  It was this combination of course which produced the Malsis Chapel windows, dedicated by Archbishop Coggan in 1963.


John Clark writes:

I thought in view of the superb memorial windows in the Chapel dedicated to 16 Old Boys and one master (Eric Brown) designed by John Piper, the website should have something about this talented artist.  JDC