Born 3 October, in St John’s Wood, London, one of six children of Royal Academy of Music professor Harold Craxton and Essie Faulkner, a violinist.
Attends various private schools. Exhibits at the Bloomsbury Gallery in London in 1932 with fellow pupils of Betteshanger School in Kent, whose art teacher, Elsie Barling, is a key early influence.
Visits Paris and admires Picasso’s newly painted Guernica.
Draws models at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris.
Attends Westminster Art School and the Central School of Art in London.
First solo show at the Swiss Cottage Café in London. The Craxton family home is destroyed by a bomb. Meets patron Peter Watson and painter Lucian Freud.
Watson funds adjoining studios for Craxton and Freud in St John’s Wood. Attends Goldsmiths College, London.
Visits Pembrokeshire with Graham Sutherland, Freud and Watson.
First solo exhibition at the Leicester Galleries in London. Produces colour lithographs and ink decorations for the anthology Visionary Poems and Passages or The Poet’s Eye selected by Geoffrey Grigson.
Travels with Freud to the Scilly Isles.
Returns to Paris. Watson arranges an exhibition at the Galerie Gasser in Zurich, where Craxton meets Lady Norton, wife of the British Ambassador to Greece, who takes him on to Athens. Arrives on Poros in June. Freud follows for an autumn and winter. Exhibits with the British Council in Athens.
After a tour of the Cyclades and Dodecanese, Craxton visits Crete for the first time. Craxton and Freud exhibit Poros paintings at the London Gallery.
Monograph by Geoffrey Grigson, John Craxton: Paintings and Drawings, is published by Horizon.
Shows with the London Gallery and the British Council in Athens.
Designs sets and costumes for a Covent Garden revival of the ballet Daphnis and Chloë, choreographed by Frederick Ashton. Exhibition of Greek pictures at the Leicester Galleries.
Exhibition of Greek pictures at the Leicester Galleries.
Designs the cover for the book The Cretan Runner by George Psychoundakis, translated and introduced by Patrick Leigh Fermor. Stays with Paddy and Joan Leigh Fermor in the ancestral mansion of painter Niko Ghika on Hydra. Exhibition at the Leicester Galleries.
Designs the cover for Patrick Leigh Fermor’s book Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese.
Spends Christmas with the Ghikas and Leigh Fermors on Hydra.
Moves to a Venetian house on the harbour at Chania, Crete.
Exhibition at the Leicester Galleries.
Sixth and last solo exhibition at the Leicester Galleries. Designs the cover for Patrick Leigh Fermor’s book Roumeli: Travels in Northern Greece.
Retrospective exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London. Exiled from Greece after a military coup.
Exhibition at Hamet Gallery, London.
Exhibition at the University of Stirling, which commissions Craxton to design and execute a Greek-inspired tapestry with Dovecot Weavers.
Returns to live and work on Crete.
First solo exhibition with the Christopher Hull Gallery in London.
Exhibition with Christopher Hull Gallery.
Touring show travels to the British Council in Athens, the Chrysostomos Gallery on Crete and the Christopher Hull Gallery in London.
Shows with Christopher Hull Gallery and in A Paradise Lost – the Neo-Romantic Imagination in Britain 1935-55 at the Barbican Art Gallery.
Elected a Royal Academician. Final show with Christopher Hull Gallery features portraits from 1942 to 1992 and a catalogue note by David Attenborough.
Exhibition at Pallant House, Chichester.
Exhibition at Art First, London.
Recreates his original designs for a London revival of Frederick Ashton’s Daphnis and Chloe ballet, painting all the new sets by hand.
In failing health, he leaves Crete for the last time but always hopes to return.
Dies in London on 17 November, aged 87.
Memorial service at St James’s Piccadilly. Memorial hang during the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
Tate one-room show for publication of John Craxton monograph by Ian Collins (Lund Humphries).
John Craxton: A World of Private Mystery exhibition at Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
John Craxton: From Cranborne Chase to Crete tours from Dorset County Museum in Dorchester to Salisbury Museum.
Charmed Lives in Greece: Ghika, Craxton, Leigh Fermor exhibition tours from the A.G. Leventis Gallery in Nicosia to the Benaki Museum in Athens and the British Museum. It receives rave reviews and around 100,000 visitors. A launch exhibition is held at Osborne Samuel in London – John Craxton in Greece: The Unseen Works.
Publication of the biography John Craxton: A Life of Gifts, by Ian Collins (Yale University Press). Osborne Samuel exhibition John Craxton: Drawn from Darkness – Paintings and Drawings 1940-1946.
Centenary touring exhibition opens at the Benaki Museum in Athens, and John Craxton: A Life of Gifts is published in Greek by Patakis.