Painter of portraits, including many distinguished contemporaries, figure compositions, landscapes and flowers; draughtsman, etcher and lithographer.
Born 4 January 1878 in Tenby, Wales, brother of Gwen John, he studied at the Slade School 1894–8; won a Scholarship 1896 and the Summer Composition Prize in 1898. He first visited Paris in 1900; later travelled in Holland, Belgium and France and was influenced by Rembrandt, El Greco and the Post-Impressionists. He began exhibiting at the N.E.A.C. in 1900 and became a member in 1903. He had his first one-man exhibition at the Carfax Gallery in 1903 and became professor of Painting at Liverpool University from 1901–4. He painted in Ireland, Dorset and Wales, where he camped with gipsies and worked with Innes and Derwent Lees 1911–14. John exhibited at the Chenil Galleries, Alpine Club Gallery, Independent Club, Independent Gallery, etc. A.R.A. 1921, R.A. 1928, resigned in 1938 and was re-elected 1940. He was a member of the London Group from 1940–61. Awarded O.M. 1942. Travelled widely in Europe and paid several visits to the U.S.A. and Jamaica.
John ived in Dorset, London and later in Hampshire. There was a retrospective exhibition of drawings at the National Gallery in 1940, and of drawings and paintings at Temple Newsam, Leeds in 1946. He died at his home at Fordingbridge, Hampshire 31 October 1961.