A much loved artist and designer of stained-glass windows and theatre and opera sets, Piper’s work often focused on the British landscape, especially churches and monuments. He was educated at Epsom College and trained first at the Richmond School of Art and then the Royal College of. He turned from abstraction early in his career in the 1930s and began to concentrate on a more naturalistic approach, but often worked in several different styles throughout his career.
Piper was an official war artist in World War II and his wartime depictions of bomb-damaged churches and landmarks, most notably those of Coventry Cathedral, made Piper a household name and led to his work being acquired by several public collections. Piper collaborated with many others, including the poets John Benjamin, Geoffrey Grigson, the potter Geoffrey Eatop and Ben Nicholson. In his later years, he produced many limited-edition prints and lithographs.