Born in 1903 in Epsom, Surrey, John Piper was an artist specialising in architecture, landscapes and abstracts. He was also a theatrical designer, and worked on six operas by Benjamin Britten as well as numerous other productions. During his childhood, John made frequent visits to Italy which were to prove an influence on his work. He studied at the Richmond and Kingston schools of art in the late 1920s, and also wrote extensively about art and architecture. He had many exhibitions in Britain and the USA, and between 1946 and 1961 was twice trustee of the Tate Gallery. Piper created "The Shell Guides" - a series of illustrated books about the British Isles, in collaboration with the poet John Betjeman, and also designed stained glass windows for a number of buildings including the new Coventry Cathedral, before his death in 1992.
John Piper is best known for his landscapes, typically depicting castles, churches and ruins, and these remain popular with collectors. His earlier work, in particular from a brief abstract period in the 1930s, is also sought after, as is more sombre work from the Second World War. John was commissioned by the war artists’ scheme to help capture for posterity the results of war on the UK landscape, and in 1944 he was appointed an official war artist. His work from this period is of particular interest, being sought after by historians and fine art collectors alike. As with all artwork, the value of John Piper’s work varies according to the provenance, media, size and subject matter. At Peter Wilson’s, our strong and established reputation as auctioneers of Fine Art means that we’re often asked to sell works by sought-after artists such as John Piper. If you are considering the sale of a work by Piper then please contact us to see how we can help.
If you’re interested in 20th Century Art, be sure to check out our Collecting Guide for more artists and information. If you enjoyed reading this article please feel free to share it.
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