"Artist John," on a 1928 Time magazine cover
|Birth name||Augustus Edwin John|
|Born||January 4, 1878|
|Died||October 31, 1961|
|Awards||Order of Merit, RA|
Augustus Edwin John OM, RA, (4 January 1878 – 31 October 1961) was a Welsh painter, draughtsman, and etcher. Time (trademarked in capitals as TIME) is a weekly American Newsmagazine, similar to Newsweek and Events 46 BC - Titus Labienus defeats Julius Caesar in the Battle of Ruspina. Year 1878 ( MDCCCLXXVIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Tenby ( Welsh language: Dinbych-y-Pysgod "little town of the fishes or little fortress of the fish" is a walled Seaside Town in Pembrokeshire Geography Pembrokeshire is a maritime County, bordered by the sea on three sides by Ceredigion (Cardiganshire to the northeast and by Events 445 BC – Ezra reads the Book of the Law to the Israelites in Jerusalem (see Nehemiah 91 NLTse Year 1961 ( MCMLXI) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Fordingbridge is a former Market town with a population of six thousand on the River Avon and the A338 road in the west of Hampshire, Wildlife Hampshire has wildlife typical of the island of Great Britain The Welsh people ( Welsh: Cymro ("Welshman" Cymraes ("Welsh woman" Cymry ("Welshmen/women" Cymry Painting (pān'tīng in Art, is the practice of applying Color to a Surface (support base such as e Post-Impressionism is the term coined by the British artist and Art critic Roger Fry in 1910 to describe the development of French art since Manet. The Order of Merit is a British and Commonwealth Order bestowed by the Monarch. The Order of Merit is a British and Commonwealth Order bestowed by the Monarch. Events 46 BC - Titus Labienus defeats Julius Caesar in the Battle of Ruspina. Year 1878 ( MDCCCLXXVIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Events 445 BC – Ezra reads the Book of the Law to the Israelites in Jerusalem (see Nehemiah 91 NLTse Year 1961 ( MCMLXI) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Drawing is a Visual art that makes use of any number of drawing instruments to mark a two-dimensional medium For other uses of etch or etching, see Etching (disambiguation, for the history of the method see Old master prints. For a short time around 1910, he was an important exponent of Post-Impressionism in the United Kingdom. Post-Impressionism is the term coined by the British artist and Art critic Roger Fry in 1910 to describe the development of French art since Manet. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located
"Augustus was celebrated first for his brilliant figure drawings, and then for a new technique of oil sketching. His work was favourably compared in London with that of Gauguin and Matisse. London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (7 June 1848 – 8 May 1903 was a leading Post-Impressionist painter. Henri Matisse (31 December 1869 – 3 November 1954 was a French Artist, known for his use of Colour and his fluid brilliant and original draughtsmanship He then developed a style of portraiture that was imaginative and often extravagant, catching an instantaneous attitude in his subjects. "
John was born at Tenby in Pembrokeshire, the younger son and third of four children in his family. Tenby ( Welsh language: Dinbych-y-Pysgod "little town of the fishes or little fortress of the fish" is a walled Seaside Town in Pembrokeshire Geography Pembrokeshire is a maritime County, bordered by the sea on three sides by Ceredigion (Cardiganshire to the northeast and by His father was Edwin William John, a Welsh solicitor; his mother, Augusta Smith from a long line of Sussex plumbers, died young when he was six, but not before inculcating a love of drawing in both Augustus and his older sister Gwen. Gwendolen Mary John ( June 22, 1876 – September 18, 1939) was a Welsh artist  At the age of seventeen he briefly attended the Tenby School of Art, then studied at the Slade School of Art UCL in London (his sister, Gwen, was with him at the Slade and became an important artist in her own right), where he became the star pupil of drawing teacher Henry Tonks, and even before his graduation was recognized as the most talented draughtsman of his generation. Slade School of Fine Art is the art school of University College London, UK University College London ( UCL) is a multi-faculty university institution based in the United Kingdom and a constituent college of the University of London Henry Tonks FRCS ( April 9, 1862 – January 8, 1937) was an English Surgeon, Artist and Art 
In the summer of 1897, John was seriously injured while swimming, and the lengthy convalescence that followed seems to have actually stimulated his adventurous spirit and accelerated his artistic growth.  In 1898, he won the Slade Prize with Moses and the Brazen Serpent. John afterward studied independently in Paris where he seems to have been influenced by Puvis de Chavannes. Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, ( 14 December 1824 – 24 October 1898) was a French painter, who became the president 
Some time in 1910, John fell in love with the town of Martigues, in Provence, located half-way between Arles and Marseilles, and first seen from a train en route to Italy. Martigues ( Occitan: Lo Martegue in classical norm Lou Martegue in Mistralian norm is a commune in the southeastern part of France Provence ( Provençal Occitan: Provença in classical norm or Prouvènço in Mistralian norm is a region of southeastern France  John wrote that Provence ‘had been for years the goal of my dreams’ and Martigues was the town for which he felt the greatest affection. ‘With a feeling that I was going to find what I was seeking, an anchorage at last, I returned from Marseilles, and, changing at Pas des Lanciers, took the little railway which leads to Martigues. On arriving my premonition proved correct: there was no need to seek further. ’’ The connection with Provence continued until 1928, by which time John felt the town had lost its simple charm, and he sold his home there. 
He was, throughout his life, particularly interested in the Roma people (whom he referred to as Gypsies), and sought them out on his frequent travels around the United Kingdom and Europe. The Romani people (singular Rom, plural Roma as a Noun; also known as Romanies or Roma people) are an ethnic group with origins The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located For a time, shortly after his marriage, he and his family, which included his wife Ida, mistress Dorothy (Dorelia) McNeill, and Johns' children by both women, travelled in a caravan, in gypsy fashion. 
During World War I, he was attached to the Canadian forces as a war artist and made a number of memorable portraits of Canadian infantrymen. World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page The end result was to have been a huge mural for Lord Beaverbrook and the sketches and cartoon for this suggest that it might have become his greatest large-scale work. William Maxwell "Max" Aitken 1st Baron Beaverbrook Bt However, like so many of his monumental conceptions, it was never completed. As a war artist, he was allowed to keep his facial hair and therefore, he and King George V were the only officers in the Allied forces to have a beard.  After two months in France he was sent home in disgrace after taking part in a brawl.  Lord Beaverbrook, whose intervention saved John from a court-martial, sent him back to France after he had produced a series of studies for the prospective Canadian War Memorial picture, although the only major work to result from the experience was Fraternity. 
Although well-known early in the century for his drawings and etchings, the bulk of John's later work consisted of portraits, some of the best of which were of his two wives and his children. Tallulah Brockman Bankhead ( January 31, 1902 – December 12, 1968) was an American Actress, talk-show host and Drawing is a Visual art that makes use of any number of drawing instruments to mark a two-dimensional medium For other uses of etch or etching, see Etching (disambiguation, for the history of the method see Old master prints. He was known for the psychological insight of his portraits, many of which were considered "cruel" for the truth of the depiction. Lord Leverhulme was so upset with his portrait that he cut out the head (since only that part of the image could easily be hidden in his vault) but when the remainder of the picture was returned by error to John there was an international outcry over the desecration. William Hesketh Lever 1st Viscount Leverhulme ( 19 September 1851 &ndash 7 May 1925) was an English Industrialist philanthropist 
By the 1920s John was Britain's leading portrait painter. John painted many distinguished contemporaries, including T. E. Lawrence, Thomas Hardy, W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, Tallulah Bankhead, George Bernard Shaw, the cellist Guilhermina Suggia, the Marchesa Casati and Elizabeth Bibesco. Thomas Hardy OM (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928 was an English novelist Short story writer and poet of the naturalist movement though he saw Isabella Augusta Lady Gregory (15 March 1852 – 22 May 1932 née Isabella Augusta Persse, was an Irish Dramatist and folklorist. Tallulah Brockman Bankhead ( January 31, 1902 – December 12, 1968) was an American Actress, talk-show host and George Bernard Shaw ( (26 July 1856 &ndash 2 November 1950 was an Irish Playwright. Guilhermina Suggia ( June 27 1885 &ndash July 30 1950, full name Guilhermina Augusta Xavier de Medim Suggia Carteado Mena) Luisa Casati Stampa di Soncino Marchesa di Roma (Milan 23 January 1881 - London 1 June 1957) was an eccentric Italian Elizabeth (Asquith Bibesco ( February 26, 1897 - April 7, 1945) was an English Writer, active between 1921 - 1940 Perhaps his most famous portrait is of his fellow-countryman, Dylan Thomas. Dylan Marlais Thomas (27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953 was a Welsh poet who wrote exclusively in English
It was said that after the war his powers diminished as his bravura technique became sketchier.  One critic has claimed that "the painterly brilliance of his early work degenerated into flashiness and bombast, and the second half of his long career added little to his achievement. " However, from time to time his inspiration returned, as it did on a trip to Jamaica in 1937. Jamaica (ˈdʒəˈmeɪkə} is an Island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length and as much as in width situated in the Caribbean Sea. Year 1937 ( MCMXXXVII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.  The works done in Jamaica between March and May of 1937 evidence a resurgence of his powers, and amounted to "the St. Martin's summer of his creative genius". 
Of his method for painting portraits John explained:
|“||Make a puddle of paint on your palette consisting of the predominant colour of your model's face and ranging from dark to light. Having sketched the features, being most careful of the proportions, apply a skin of paint from your preparation, only varying the mixture with enough red for the lips and cheeks and grey for the eyeballs. The latter will need touches of white and probably some blue, black, brown, or green. If you stick to your puddle (assuming that it was correctly prepared), your portrait should be finished in an hour or so, and be ready for obliteration before the paint dries, when you start afresh.||”|
Early in 1900, he married his first wife, Ida Nettleship (1877 – 1907), with whom he had five children. John Trivett Nettleship (February 11 1841 &ndash August 311902 was an English artist known as a painter of animals and in particular Lions and author After her death in 1907, his mistress Dorothy "Dorelia" McNeill took her place and later became his second wife, with whom he had two children. One of his sons (by his first wife) was the prominent British Admiral and First Sea Lord Sir Caspar John. The First Sea Lord is the professional head of the Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service. Admiral of the Fleet Sir Caspar John GCB ( 22 March 1903 - 11 July 1984) was the British First Sea Lord By Ian Fleming's widowed mother, Evelyn Ste Croix Fleming née Rose, he had a daughter, Amaryllis Fleming (1925 – 1999), who became a noted cellist. Ian Lancaster Fleming ( May 28, 1908 – August 12, 1964) was a British author, Journalist and Second World War Evelyn St Croix Fleming, born Evelyn Beatrice St Croix Rose, known as Eve Fleming (1885-1964 was married to Valentine Fleming (1882-1917 and within Amaryllis Marie-Louise Fleming ( 10 December 1925 &ndash 27 July 1999) was a British Cello performer and teacher
In later life, John wrote two volumes of autobiography, Chiaroscuro (1952) and Finishing Touches (1964).  In old age, although John had ceased to be a moving force in British art, he was still greatly revered, as was demonstrated by the huge show of his work mounted by the Royal Academy in 1954. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located This article refers to an art institution in London For other meanings of Royal Academy see Royal Academy (disambiguation. Year 1954 ( MCMLIV) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1954 Gregorian calendar) He continued to work up until his death in Fordingbridge, Hampshire in 1961, his last work being a studio mural in three parts, the left hand of which showed a Falstaffian figure of a French peasant in a yellow waistcoat playing a hurdy gurdy while coming down a village street. Fordingbridge is a former Market town with a population of six thousand on the River Avon and the A338 road in the west of Hampshire, Wildlife Hampshire has wildlife typical of the island of Great Britain Sir John Falstaff is a Fictional character who appears in three plays by William Shakespeare as a companion to Prince Hal the future King Henry V. It was Augustus John's final wave goodbye.
He joined the Peace Pledge Union as a pacifist in the 1950s, and on 17 September 1961, just over a month before his death, he joined the Committee of 100's anti-nuclear weapons demonstration in Trafalgar Square, London. The Peace Pledge Union is a British Non-governmental organization which emerged from an initiative by Dick Sheppard, canon of St Paul's Cathedral, in 1934 The 1950s Decade refers to the years of 1950 to 1959 inclusive Events 1176 - The Battle of Myriokephalon is fought 1462 - The Battle of Świecino (or Battle of Żarnowiec Year 1961 ( MCMLXI) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Committee of 100 may refer to Committee of 100 (Delaware, a lobbying group in Delaware United States Trafalgar Square is a square in central London, England. With its position in the heart of London it is a tourist attraction its trademark is Nelson's London ( ˈlʌndən is the capital and largest urban area in the United Kingdom. At the time, his son, Admiral Sir Caspar John was First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff. Admiral of the Fleet Sir Caspar John GCB ( 22 March 1903 - 11 July 1984) was the British First Sea Lord The First Sea Lord is the professional head of the Royal Navy and the whole Naval Service. Chief of the Naval Staff may refer to Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy First Sea Lord, the commonly used title for the Royal Navy's
He is said to have been the model for the bohemian painter depicted in Joyce Cary's novel The Horse's Mouth, which was later made into a 1958 film of the same name with Alec Guinness in the lead role. Joyce Arthur Cary (born Arthur Joyce Lunel Cary, December 7, 1888 – March 29, 1957) was an Irish novelist and artist The Horse's Mouth is a 1944 Novel by Joyce Cary, the third in his First Trilogy, whose first two books are Herself The Horse's Mouth is a 1958 film directed by Ronald Neame. Alec Guinness wrote the screenplay from the 1944 Novel The Sir Alec Guinness, CH, CBE (2 April 1914 &ndash 5 August 2000 was an English Actor.
Michael Holroyd published a biography of John in 1975 and it is a mark of the public's continued interest in the painter that Holroyd published a new version of the biography in 1996. Sir Michael De Courcy Fraser Holroyd, CBE (born August 27, 1935) is a biographer, born in London and educated at Eton College
He became a leader of the New English Art Club, where he chiefly exhibited. The New English Art Club ( NEAC) was founded in London in 1885 as an alternate venue to the Royal Academy. With his vivid manner of portraiture and his ability to catch unerringly some striking and usually unfamiliar aspect of his subject, he superseded Sargent as England's fashionable portrait painter. John Singer Sargent (January 12 1856 &ndash April 14 1925 was the most successful portrait painter of his era During his career he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than In 1921 he was made a member of the Royal Academy.