Piper was an English painter, print-maker and designer of stained glass windows and theatre sets. His work often focused on the British landscape, especially churches and monuments and included tapestry designs, book jackets, screen-prints, photography, fabrics and ceramics. He was educated at Epsom College and trained at Richmond School of Art, followed by the Royal College of Art, London. He turned from abstraction early in his career, concentrating on a more naturalistic approach. As well as being official war artist in World War II, he also collaborated with many others including the poets John Betjeman and Geoffrey Grigson on the Shell Guides and the artist Ben Nicholson. In later years he produced many limited edition prints.
John Piper, CH (1903-1992), Turpault Castle, Quiberon, 1963
Pen, ink, chalk, gouache and watercolour
8 x 11¾ in (28 x 35 cm)
Inscribed: For Brian Vale/with good wishes/1963
Collections: The artist from whom acquired by Brian Vale in May 1963 and thence by descent to the present day
Brian Vale was the art critic of The Bradford Telegraph and Argus. He was a friend of many of the leading artists of the period and at the time of this purchase was writing an article on Piper around his forthcoming exhibition at the Marlborough Gallery.
Quiberon is a fishing port in Brittany famous for its production of tinned sardines. Turpault Castle built in 1904 lies at the entrance to the harbour.