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John Minton A productive short life Part 3

January 25, 2018

Welcome to part 3 of my posts about the artist John Minton.

Minton’s posthumous fame is principally as an illustrator. Many of his commissions for illustrations came from the publisher John Lehmann. Both men were gay, and were so much in one another’s company that some people supposed that they were partners, though the biographer Artemis Cooper thinks it was unlikely. For Lehmann, Minton illustrated A Book of Mediterranean Food and French Country Cooking (the first two books by the food writer Elizabeth David), travel books such as Time was Away – A Notebook in Corsica, by Alan Ross (which appeared in Part 2 of my John Minton posts) and fiction, including Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (see below). He also produced dust wrappers for many other publishers including Michael Joseph, Secker and Warburg and Rupert Hart-Davis. Here’s a small selection of his work for book jackets.

All that practice of drawing fishermen should have come in handy for this book lol

John’s obvious love and understanding for the countryside and nature made him a perfect artist for this novel by H.E. Bates

and the outdoor work he sketched by eye.

You can see how his observational sketches were useful for future paintings, artworks, cards, textile and even wallpaper designs.

He produced posters for London Transport and Ealing Studios. He painted scenes of Britain, from rural beauty to urban decay, and traveled overseas, producing scenes of the West Indies, Spain and Morocco. The Times wrote, “Even when they were ostensibly of Spain and Jamaica, John’s landscapes looked back to Samuel Palmer for their mood. They were densely patterned and luxuriantly coloured, and it was always the fullness and richness of the scene which attracted his eye and which he painted with such evident enjoyment.”

Here he uses the sunflower motif from earlier work (above) to create wallpaper patterns.

Finally here we see some of John’s landscapes, beautifully detailed and rich in their visual and descriptive elements.

Pieces of farm machinery found on the landscape.

Lovely scenes like this brook (above) and the fruit pickers (below), again illustrate what a prolific, versatile and talented artist John Minton really was.

Don’t you feel that these scenes just shout out… traditional English summertime lol !

One final post still to come about John Minton to conclude this series of blog posts. I hope, like me, that you are also enjoying his journey.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Harris permalink
    January 25, 2018 10:38 am

    Have loved looking at your posts about John Minton. His book covers all look familiar but I didn’t know about him. Thank you!

    • January 25, 2018 12:25 pm

      Thanks Harris, perhaps familiar because he illustrated such well known novels as well as some lesser known ones. Glad you found my posts informative too.

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