by John Minton
oil on canvas, circa 1953
14 in. x 10 in. (356 mm x 254 mm)
Purchased with help from the Contemporary Art Society and the Hon. Michael Astor Charitable Fund, 1968
Sitterback to top
- John Minton (1917-1957), Painter and illustrator. Sitter in 4 portraits, Artist of 5 portraits.
Artistback to top
- John Minton (1917-1957), Painter and illustrator. Artist of 5 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Fryer, Jonathan, Character Sketches: Soho in the Fifties and Sixties, 1998, p. 31
- Rideal, Liz, Insights: Self-portraits, 2005, p. 16 Read entry
John Minton was a member of the Soho set, a group of artists so called because they frequented Soho drinking clubs such as the Colony Room. He was a major figure in the Neo-Romantic movement of the 1940s and 1950s. He committed suicide at the age of thirty-nine and this portrait conveys the deeply melancholic side to his character. However, in life he had a reputation for being a generous and vital personality. ‘No-one,’ he wrote, ‘mirrors his age clearer than the artist. For here is the living moment made concrete, the particular made general, the symptoms diagnosed, the order made from disorder.’
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 433
Events of 1953back to top
Current affairsA combination of low pressure in the North Sea, hurricane force winds, and high tides result in the Great Flood of 1953. With no warning system many were trapped in their homes as 20-foot waves crashed on the coast; hundreds were killed at sea and on the east coast.
John Hunt's British Expedition conquers Everest. News of the achievement reached Britain on the day of Elizabeth's coronation.
Art and scienceFrances Crick and James Watson discover the double helix structure of DNA. Uncovering DNA's chemical make-up revolutionised our understanding of the building blocks of life.
Ian Fleming publishes his first James Bond novel, Casino Royal.
Chad Varah founds 'The Samaritans' helpline.
InternationalJoseph Stalin dies four days after suffering a stroke. It has been suggested that Stalin was assassinated, as he was denied medical assistance for over a day after he was found; many suspect that he was poisoned. On his death Georgy Malenkov became leader of the Soviet Union.
Listen to a series of podcasts exploring the lives of pioneering women, past and present.
William Eggleston was closely associated with the alternative music scene in Memphis. Revisit our 2016 exhibition and listen to a special playlist.
Links to audio and transcripts of interviews with artists, sitters and historic recordings.
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