John Piper was born in 1903. He is regarded as one of the major British artists of the 20th Century. He was the son of a successful London solicitor and studied law until the age of twenty-three years old. He then went to study painting at Richmond School of Art and the Royal College of Art. From 1926 to 1940, he supplemented his income by reviewing art, books and plays and began to make a reputation by illustrating his articles for the Architectural Review with his own drawings. All this time, he was active with his painting and in the years 1939-40 they began to sell.
In 1940, he was appointed an official war artist. In 1941 he produced the first series of drawings of Windsor Castle for H. M the Queen, now the Queen Mother, and his work became increasingly prized and sought-after. After the war and in the 1950’s, he was a Trustee of the Tate Gallery and, later, of the National Gallery and a member of the Arts Council Art Panel.
His association with the Curwen studio produced one of the best known suited of lithographs “A Retrospect of Churches” in 1964. In the 1960’s he also turned to screenprinting and etching, working with Chris Prater at Kelpra Studio. The Tate Gallery held a retrospective of Piper’s work in 1983.