English painter, set designer, printmaker and window designer John Egerton Christmas Piper was born in Surrey in 1903. Though his family wished him to become a lawyer, he rebelled and first studied at the Richmond School of Art. He later moved onto the Royal College of Art, London, though he did not actually graduate. Though he initially experimented with abstract art, he soon turned towards more natural themes. His main subjects were landscapes and religious buildings, such as churches. He created a range of work, including book jackets, photography, tapestries, fabrics and ceramics.
Piper was employed as a war artist during World Word II. His depiction of Coventry Cathedral, which was famously suffered considerable damage when bombed, put Piper on the map as a known British artist. During his life, he collaborated with John Betjeman and Geoffrey Grigson, Ben Nicholson for a variety of pieces and in 1937, his writer wife, Myfanwy Evans. Piper died at his family home in Fawley Bottom, Buckinghamshire after a battle with Alzheimer’s Disease in 1992. The Tate Gallery in London currently holds a considerable collection of 180 John Piper works, including some of his early drawings and abstract work. Other collections can be found globally; at the Art Institute of Chicago, National Galleries of Scotland and many more.