Wiggenhall, St Peter, 1975

This lithograph printed with colours is an example of Piper’s preoccupation with both the English countryside and the romanticism of crumbling ruins.


John Piper

John Piper CH (1903-1992) was a British painter and book illustrator. Regarded as a pioneer of Modern Art, Piper’s oeuvre provides an important and affecting view of mid-century England. His work not only naturalistically represents the structures and landscape of his subjects, but uses the language of abstraction to develop a disjointed relationship to the setting, instilling a sense of unease and atmosphere into his paintings. Piper studied at the Richmond School of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. He gradually began exhibiting and distributing his work throughout the United Kingdom until the start of the Second World War, when he was contracted to become a wartime artist. Concentrating on ravaged architecture, Piper was given unprecedented access to official bunkers and control headquarters, culminating in some of the most touching and revealing works produced during the war. Piper gained considerable acclaim from this period until his death in 1992. Today his works can be found in the collections of numerous prominent institutions around the world, including the Art Institute of Chicago,  the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Tate Galley, London.