Francis John Minton was born in Cambridgeshire in 1917. After studying in France, he returned to London to teach at the Central School of Art & Design and the Royal College of Art, and maintained a consistently large output of works, including landscapes and portraits.
He was greatly influenced by Michael Ayrton, with whom he exhibited in London and designed costumes for John Gielgud’s production of Macbeth. The Times described Minton’s work as having a 'gloomy realism, and much intensity of feeling, which he expresses in dark colour schemes'. His work was often on an unusually large scale, painting striking portraits and beautifully-textured, vibrantly coloured landscape scenes from locations across the world.
Whilst highly respected both by the conservative Royal Academy and the modernist London Group, he felt out of touch with the abstract painting that began to prevail during the 1950s. As a result of psychological problems and a dependence on alcohol, Minton took his own life in 1957 at the age of just 39.
John Minton has several works represented in the collections of the Tate Gallery, the Royal College, Arts Council England and the Government Art Collection, amongst numerous others, and was the subject of a well known portrait by Lucien Freud in 1952.
Exhibitions at Gallagher & Turner:
101 Years of British Art
15 September - 21 October 2017