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Francis John Minton (25 December 1917–20 January 1957) was a Britishmarker painter and illustrator of landscapes, portraits, and figures, as well as a theatrical designer.

Born in Cambridgemarker, Minton was a boarder at Reading Schoolmarker from 1932 to 1935. He studied art at St John's Wood School of Art from 1935 to 1938. He was a conscientious objector in the Second World War, and was freed from obligations in 1943, whereupon he worked full-time as a painter, illustrator, and teacher of art. He painted scenes of Britainmarker, both its attractive countryside and its decayed cities, and later travelled overseas for new subjects. The increasing popularity of abstract painting at the expense of figurative work exacerbated his personal problems. He took his own life, in 1957, with an overdose of drugs.

Minton is perhaps best remembered today by the portrait of him painted by Lucian Freud.

Minton's illustrations can be seen in a number of works by Elizabeth David.

He was also a talented musician during the jazz revival.


  • Spalding, Frances. Dance till the stars come down: A biography of John Minton. London: Hutchinson, 1991. ISBN 0-340-48555-8 Reprint (as John Minton: Dance till the stars come down) Lund Humphries, 2005. ISBN 0-85331-918-9
  • Spalding, Frances. John Minton 1917–1957: A selective retrospective. London: Royal College of Arts, 1994.


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