John Virtue

born 1947

John Virtue, ‘Landscape No 624’ 1999–2000
Landscape No 624 1999–2000
© John Virtue
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Biography

John Virtue is an English artist who specialises in monochrome landscapes. He is honorary Professor of Fine Art at the University of Plymouth, and from 2003–2005 was the sixth Associate Artist at London's National Gallery.

Virtue was born in Accrington, Lancashire in 1947. He trained at the Slade School of Fine Art from 1965 to 1969. In 1971 he moved to Green Haworth, near Oswaldtwistle, painting landscapes for two years before abandoning painting in favour of pen and ink drawings comprising dense networks of lines akin to the work of Samuel Palmer.

From 1978 he worked as a postman, giving this up in 1985 to work as a full-time artist. He lived in Devon from 1988–2004.

Maintaining a studio in Exeter, he produced works around the Exe estuary, before being offered the post of Associate Artist at the National Gallery. This scheme engages contemporary artists to produce work that "connects to the National Gallery Collection" and demonstrates "the continuing inspiration of the Old Master tradition".

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