John Minton born 25 December 1917 (d. 1957)
Francis John Minton was a British painter and illustrator of landscapes, portraits, and figures, as well as a theatrical designer. He was born in Cambridge.
Minton was a boarder at Reading School from 1932 to 1935. He studied art at St John's Wood School of Art from 1935 to 1938, served in the war, but was demobbed in 1943, whereupon he worked full-time as a painter, illustrator, and teacher of art. He painted scenes of Britain, both its attractive countryside and its decayed cities, and later travelled overseas for new subjects.
During the 1940s and early 1950s he become a central figure within the Soho art scene. He enjoyed early success as a painter and was associated in the 1940s with the English Neo-Romantics. By the early 1950s he had become the most admired and influential illustrator of his day.
The increasing popularity of abstract painting at the expense of figurative work exacerbated his personal problems. He took his own life, in 1957, with an overdose of drugs.
Minton is perhaps best remembered today by the portrait of him painted by Lucian Freud [pictured above right].
Minton's illustrations can be seen in a number of works by Elizabeth David.
He was also a talented musician during the jazz revival.
[pictured Rotherhithe from Wapping, 1946 by John Minton]
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