The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

First Previous 2 OF 4 NextLast

John Minton

2 of 4 portraits of John Minton

John Minton, by John Minton, circa 1953 - NPG 4620 - © Royal College of Art

© Royal College of Art

  • Larger Image
  • Image zoom
  • Use this image
  • ShareShare this

John Minton

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
Primary Collection
NPG 4620

On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery

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 affairs

A 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 science

Frances 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.


Joseph 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.

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.