Piper, John: Besse, Dordogne


A dynamic and wonderfully vivid screenprint, one of several produced by John Piper of church architecture in Charente and Dordogne in west and south west France in the late 1960s. It’s numbered 55 of only 70 and is housed in a classic gilded frame, signed in the print.

A reminder of summer holidays in France? Besse is a commune in the Dordogne department in south west France, its church of St Martin dates from the late 11th century and was part of a Benedictine priory. It was replaced by the Augustines in the 13th century and constructed by the old château of Besse.


More images can be provided on request.

Artist: John Piper (British, 1903-1992)

Title and date: Besse, Dordogne, 1968, (Levinson 188)

Size: 77.9 x 58.3 cms.


Artist description:

Born in Epsom, John Egerton Christmas Piper studied at Richmond School of Art and the Royal College of Art from 1926-8. In the mid 1930s, after a visit to Paris, he turned to abstraction. He became a member of the London Group in 1933 and the ‘Seven and Five’ group in 1934-5. During this period he became friends with Oliver Simon of the Curwen Press and his interest in lithography and print making grew. During the Second World War, Piper was appointed as an official war artist recording the effects of the blitz on Britain’s buildings. After the war, he became a Trustee of the Tate and National Galleries and in 1959 he became a member of the Royal Fine Art Commission. Piper is best known for his extensive studies of British architecture and landscape in oil, watercolour and print, and for his photography, stained glass, ceramics, fabric design, murals, stage sets and costume design. His work is held in many Museums and Galleries.