John Piper’s artistic activities encompassed painting, architectural drawing and writing, poetry, ceramics, stage design and photography. His early art was abstract, but he soon turned to representational work, producing sensitively detailed, topographical drawings of ruined buildings and churches during and after the war.

His late work includes romantic depictions of the Welsh landscape. He rented a cottage high in the Nant Ffrancon valley in Snowdonia from 1944 until the early 1950s. Staying there during the winter months, Piper captured the wild and barren character of the landscape, especially the rugged quality of the rocks. Rarely feeling the need to include any human presence, he believed that the landscape alone could reflect our own emotions.


  • Title: Cwm Graianog above Nant Ffrancon
  • Creator: John Piper
  • Date: 1950
  • Medium: Ink wash and gouache
  • Dimensions: 38 x 50
  • Copyright: © Estate of John Piper
  • Artist's Dates: 1903-92

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