Born at Epsom, he studied at Richmond School of Art and the Royal College of Art, 1926-8. From 1928 to 1933 he wrote art criticism for the Listener and the Nation and was among the first to recognise such contemporaries as William Coldstream, Ivon Hitchens, Victor Pasmore and Ceri Richards. In the Second World War, Piper became a war artist; he was a trustee of the Tate Gallery, a member of the Arts Council and a member of the Royal Fine Art Commission. John Piper is known for his extensive studies of British architecture and landscape in oil, watercolour and print, for his stained glass and tapestry, and for a wide variety of work in media ranging from ceramics to photography. His work is held in many Museums and Galleries.