John Piper and Whithorn

John Piper (1903-1992) was born in Epsom in England. He attended the Royal College of Art in London. During the 1930’s he formed friendships with such artists as Henry Moore, Ivon Hitchens, Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Paul Nash. He exhibited regularly with the London Group and the 7 & 5 Society . He also collaborated with his poet friend John Betjeman on the famous Shell Guides. During the war he was commissioned to record bomb damage, most notably in London, Bristol and Coventry and in 1944 he was made an official war artist. He is best remembered for his paintings of churches, castles & stately homes. His use of colour, texture, strong tonal contrast and perspective heighten the dramatic effect of his romantic subjects, which have wide appeal. Along with Patrick Reyntiens he designed the stained glass baptistery window for Coventry Cathedral (1952-62).

Piper rarely ventured to draw and paint in Scotland. In 1975 he completed a series of screen-prints entitled Five Views of Scottish Chapels (in ruins). One ‘chapel’ is the ruin of Whithorn Cathedral Priory. The set was issued as a limited edition of 70, printed by Kelpra Studio, London and was published by Marlborough Fine Art, London.

Whithorn Priory
Ruined Chapel, Isle of Mull
Kirkmaiden-in-Fernis
Kilmory Chapel
Skeebost, Skye

In 1976, a set of the prints was purchaced for the UK Government Art Collection.

First Published August 2009

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