John Craxton

John Craxton painting Two Cats for Joan Leigh Fermor 1956-7. Photograph by Janet Craxton

John Craxton was a British painter, theatre designer and book decorator. His early landscapes are often associated with the neo-Romantic revival, though he preferred to be known as a "kind of Arcadian".

Craxton was self-taught as a painter but studied drawing briefly at Westminster School of Art, the Central School of Art and Goldsmiths College. His dark, menaced war-time work was influenced by Samuel Palmer and Graham Sutherland. In 1946 he was finally able to escape to Greece, revelling in the light, life and landscape in brightening works which showed a love of Picasso, Miro and Byzantine art. He travelled around the Aegean before settling in Crete in 1960.

Craxton became a Royal Academician in 1993. His work is held in collections including the Tate, Arts Council and British Council.