Leaves and Sea - Jamaica

Leaves and Sea - Jamaica



John Minton was a painter, illustrator, stage designer and teacher. He studied at St John’s School of Art where he met Michael Ayrton who travelled to France with him in 1938. At the outbreak of World War II he returned to London and joined the Pioneer Corps where he worked on costume and set designs for Gielgud’s 1942 Macbeth. From 1943 he started teaching, first at Camberwell College of Art then at the Central School of Art and Design before being approached by Robin Darwin to join the staff at the Royal College of Art, a post he held until the year before his death. Apart for Ayrton, among is close circle of friends may be included Robert Colquhoun and Robert MacBryde and Keith Vaughan. Minton visited Jamaica in 1950, staying there from September to December. He loved the bright colours and exotic vegetation of the island but also the underlying dark elements of the West Indies. In an article for Vogue magazine in November 1951 he remarked on the colours and vegetation of the island that had so impressed him: “The colour of the Jamaican landscape is that of coloured inks, of overripe fruit, acid-lemon yellows, magentas, viridians, sharp ”“ like a discord. The vegetation, intricate, speckled and enormous, seems to grow before the eyes, busting with sap, throttling itself in coils towards the sun.” He made a quantity of sketches and drawing whilst there an on his return home he worked on this material for a solo exhibition at the Lefevre Gallery in September 1951. The fruits of his Jamaican works culminated in his massive oil on canvas, Jamaican Village, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1951, no.398. Although much loved and extremely sociable Minton suffered from extreme moods swings and was dependent on alcohol. He tragically took his own life in 1957.


Height 30.48 cm / 12 "
Width 49.53 cm / 19 "
Framed height 83.82 cm / 33 "
Framed width 105.41 cm / 41 "