Poet in Landscape. 1941. Ink and watercolour, 53.5 x 75 cm. Artist’s Estate.
Poet and Moon. 1944. Lithograph from Visionary Poems and Passages or The Poet’s Eye anthology selected by Geoffrey Grigson and published by Walter Neurath.
Portrait of Sonia. 1948-57. Oil on canvas, 76 x 76 cm. Tate.
Portrait of an Aged Cretan. 1948. Oil on canvas, 45.5 x 35.5 cm. Private collection.
Four Figures in a Mountain Landscape. 1950-51. Oil on canvas. 160 x 213.5 cm. Bristol City Art Gallery.
Three Dancers – Poros. 1953-4. Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm. Lincoln College, Oxford.
Two Figures and Setting Sun. 1952-67. Tempera on board, 122 x 244 cm. Artist’s Estate.
Cover for Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese, by Patrick Leigh Fermor. Published by John Murray, 1958.
Cover for A Time of Gifts, by Patrick Leigh Fermor. Published by John Murray, 1977.
Landscape with the Elements. 1973-75. Tempera on canvas, 204.5 x 262 cm. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. (Cartoon for University of Stirling tapestry.)
Still Life with Three Sailors. 1980-85. Tempera on canvas, 122 x 151 cm. Private collection.
Reclining Figure with Asphodels I. 1983-84. Tempera on canvas, 60 x 128 cm. Private collection.

About The Artist

John Craxton (1922-2009) was championed from the age of 19 as one of the great hopes of modern painting in Britain. 

He and Lucian Freud worked in adjoining London studios for much of the war, when Craxton was mentored by Graham Sutherland and John Piper. His 1944 lithographic decorations for the Geoffrey Grigson anthology Visionary Poems and Passages or The Poet’s Eye were beautiful innovations.

Craxton escaped in 1946 to Greece, where he found creative inspiration for the rest of his life. The dark, melancholic images of the war years – with haunted solitary figures emblematic portraits of the artist himself – vanished as he became absorbed in the light, life and landscapes of the Aegean.

A consummate portrait of cats, goats and people – a lover of food, wine and music in good company – John Craxton painted pleasure and lived it too.

John Craxton on Hydra, 1960. Photograph: © Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky
John Craxton on Hydra, 1960.
Photograph: © Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky

About The Artist

John Craxton (1922-2009) was championed from the age of 19 as one of the great hopes of modern painting in Britain. 

John Craxton on Hydra, 1960. Photograph: © Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky
John Craxton on Hydra, 1960.
Photograph: © Estate of Wolfgang Suschitzky

He and Lucian Freud worked in adjoining London studios for much of the war, when Craxton was mentored by Graham Sutherland and John Piper. His 1944 lithographic decorations for the Geoffrey Grigson anthology Visionary Poems and Passages or The Poet’s Eye were beautiful innovations.

Craxton escaped in 1946 to Greece, where he found creative inspiration for the rest of his life. The dark, melancholic images of the war years – with haunted solitary figures emblematic portraits of the artist himself – vanished as he became absorbed in the light, life and landscapes of the Aegean.

A consummate portrait of cats, goats and people – a lover of food, wine and music in good company – John Craxton painted pleasure and lived it too.

"One of my great pleasures in life was to be taken by John to his favourite harbour-side restaurant on Crete and be given a dish of boiled sea-creatures which even I, who am supposed to have some knowledge of the animal kingdom, found hard to identify."

Sir David Attenborough

Gallery

Poet in Landscape. 1941. Ink and watercolour, 53.5 x 75 cm. Artist’s Estate.
Poet and Moon. 1944. Lithograph from Visionary Poems and Passages or The Poet’s Eye anthology selected by Geoffrey Grigson and published by Walter Neurath.
Portrait of Sonia. 1948-57. Oil on canvas, 76 x 76 cm. Tate.
Portrait of an Aged Cretan. 1948. Oil on canvas, 45.5 x 35.5 cm. Private collection.
Four Figures in a Mountain Landscape. 1950-51. Oil on canvas. 160 x 213.5 cm. Bristol City Art Gallery.
Three Dancers – Poros. 1953-4. Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm. Lincoln College, Oxford.
Two Figures and Setting Sun. 1952-67. Tempera on board, 122 x 244 cm. Artist’s Estate.
Cover for Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese, by Patrick Leigh Fermor. Published by John Murray, 1958.
Cover for A Time of Gifts, by Patrick Leigh Fermor. Published by John Murray, 1977.
Landscape with the Elements. 1973-75. Tempera on canvas, 204.5 x 262 cm. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. (Cartoon for University of Stirling tapestry.)
Still Life with Three Sailors. 1980-85. Tempera on canvas, 122 x 151 cm. Private collection.
Reclining Figure with Asphodels I. 1983-84. Tempera on canvas, 60 x 128 cm. Private collection.
The John Craxton Estate Stamp

WHat we do

The Estate of John Craxton works to protect, preserve and present the artistic legacy of John Craxton. We help to put on exhibitions and assist auction houses, galleries and private owners in authenticating Craxton pictures. All images courtesy of DACS.

Request for help

The Craxton Estate is currently working on a biography of the artist to be published in 2020 and a full catalogue of paintings to follow around 2025. We will be grateful for any information.

I'm off again in a day to an island were lemons grow & oranges melt in the mouth...

...goats snatch the last fig leaves off small trees...

...& the walls were made of honeysuckle.