This is a wonderful book – the first comprehensive account of the life and work of John Piper, including many of the overlooked tributaries into which his creativity overflowed. It contains in-depth research into all the major commissions within John Piper’s lengthy career, plus much new information on his work in print-making, stained glass, illustration, theatre design – and fireworks.
In patricular it sensitively uncovers the life and work of Myfanwy Piper; her collaborations with the composers Benjamin Britten and Alun Hoddinott, and her part in the avant-garde movement in English art during the 1930s. A picture is painted of how the Pipers were a key part the Pipers played in defining ‘Englishness’ in the mid-20th century – not least through the iconic Shell Guides.
Their had a huge network of friendships and collaborations, with Benjamin Britten, Kenneth Clark, John Betjeman, Osbert Lancaster, Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, and others. As such this is a fascinating reflection of some of the influences of modern British Art.
A real treat of a book!