John, Augustus

Date: 1878-1961

Augustus Edwin John was a Welsh painter, draughtsman, and etcher. The younger brother of the painter Gwen John, Augustus was primarily known for his powerful portraits of distinguished contemporaries. A significant supporter of Post-Impressionism in Britain, John developed a pioneering technique of oil sketching directly onto bare canvas.

While studying at the Slade School of Art, he was recognised as the most talented draughtsman of his generation. However, a serious head injury in 1897, dramatically changed his artistic style, which had been described as “methodical”. His notoriously bohemian lifestyle was sprinkled with some more traditional periods, including several years as Professor of Painting at the University of Liverpool.

The University Art Collection holds one painting by John, entitled ‘Welsh Landscape’.