John Piper


  • Signed (lower right) Executed circa 1950
  • Pen, ink and watercolour
  • 14 x 20 ins


Portland Bill is a narrow promontory which forms the most southerly part of the Isle of Portland, near Weymouth in Dorset. For centuries it has been quarried for its famous Portland Stone, used extensively as a building stone throughout the British Isles, notably in major public buildings in London such as St Paul's Cathedral.

Piper first discovered the area in the late 1920s whilst in a 'very old Morris Cowley', he spotted a 'too extraordinary for words' feature on the map, that was to be the Isle of Portland. His inquisitiveness was rewarded manifold and he discovered 'great rectangular blocks, with cutting marks in regular rows', lying around everywhere, 'weathering in the rain and wind'. With its air of romantic desolation and interesting
architectural features, Piper found a compelling 'Genius Loci' in the Isle of Portland and he returned to it regularly throughout his oeuvre.

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