John Piper (1903 – 1992)

Cartoon for Baptistry Chapel Window, Coventry Cathedral


Gouache and mixed media art

127 x 54 cm

Labelled B101 by the artist and initialled.

A gouache design for one of the Coventry Cathedral Baptistry Window panels. John Piper was commissioned to design the Baptistry Window in 1955, in partnership with glassmaker Patrick Reyntiens. The window is made of 198 panels of stained glass and is 26 metres high.

Piper commented in his book “Stained Glass: Art or Anti-Art?” that ‘The function, the flesh and blood and bones of stained glass – its whole being – is to gratify light and to intensify atmosphere in a room or building, not necessarily to provide colour – or a message.’ The ambiguous post-war tenor of the design is striking: the khaki palette, the soldier-like figure, and the landscape evoking a 20th century theatre of war.

John Piper CH was an English painter, printmaker, and designer of stained-glass windows. His work often focused on the British landscape, especially churches and monuments, and included tapestry designs, book jackets, screen-prints, photography, fabrics and ceramics.

Condition: very good. Four pin holes and a small handling mark mid left.

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