John Piper
Foliate Head 1971

Artwork details

John Piper 1903–1992
Foliate Head
Date 1971
Medium Lithograph on paper
Dimensions Image: 391 x 264 mm
Acquisition Presented by Curwen Studio through the Institute of Contemporary Prints 1975
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

Foliate or ‘leafy’ heads such as this one are perhaps one of John Piper’s most distinctive motifs, appearing in his works in a variety of media including tapestries and ceramics as well as drawings, paintings and prints. Their form is based loosely on traditional ‘green men’, found in the architecture of many medieval and nineteenth-century buildings. The recurrence of the image perhaps reflects Piper’s fascination with detailed medieval church carvings , particularly misericords - small wooden shelves installed in churches to provide some comfort for those needing it during long periods of standing prayer.

May 2007

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