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John Keith Vaughan (23 August 1912 – 4 November 1977) was a British painter.

Born in Selsey, Vaughan attended Christ's Hospital school. He worked in an advertising agency until the war, when as a conscientious objector he joined the St John's Ambulance. In 1941 he was conscripted into the Non-Combatant Corps. Vaughan was self-taught as an artist. His first exhibitions took place during the war. In 1942 he was stationed at Ashton Gifford near Codford in Wiltshire. Paintings from this time include "The Wall at Ashton Gifford", now owned by the Manchester Art Gallery.

Also during the war Vaughan formed friendships with the painters Graham Sutherland and John Minton, with whom after demobilization in 1946 he shared premises. Through these contacts he formed part of the Neo-Romantic circle of the immediate post-war period. However, Vaughan rapidly developed an idiosyncratic style which moved him away from the Neo-Romantics. Concentrating on studies of male figures, his works became increasingly more abstract with time.

Vaughan worked as an art teacher at the Camberwell College of Arts, the Central School of Art and later at the Slade School.

Vaughan is also known for his journals, selections from which were published in 1966 and more extensively in 1989, after his death. A gay man troubled by his sexuality, much of what is known about him is through those journals. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1975 and committed suicide in 1977 in London, recording his last moments in his diary as the drugs overdose took effect.

Leaping Figure, 1951


Cain and Abel, 1946

Figure with a Boat, 1950

Small Assembly of Figures, 1951

Theseus and The Minotaure, 1950

Further Readings:

Keith Vaughan: Journals, 1939-1977 by Keith Vaughan
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: John Murray Publishers Ltd; First edition (December 1990)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0719547326
ISBN-13: 978-0719547324
Amazon: Keith Vaughan: Journals, 1939-1977

The Spirit of Place: Nine Neo-Romantic Artists and Their Times by Malcolm Yorke
Paperback: 376 pages
Publisher: Tauris Parke Paperbacks (June 2, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1860646042
ISBN-13: 978-1860646041
Amazon: The Spirit of Place: Nine Neo-Romantic Artists and Their Times

In the 1930s, Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, and John Piper—three little-known painters in England—began a movement in the world of art whose repercussions we can only now appreciate. The influence of the Neo-Romantics on the world of art is beyond doubt: Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, David Kossoff, and Frank Auerbach all owe their renown to the great tradition of oil painting nurtured by Nash, Sutherland, and Piper. Malcom Yorke argues that the Neo-Romantics themselves traced their inspiration to the English Romanticism of William Blake and Samuel Palmer.

The Sexual Perspective: Homosexuality and Art in the Last 100 Years in the West by Emmanuel Cooper
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Routledge; Second edition (October 15, 1994)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0415111013
ISBN-13: 978-0415111010
Amazon: The Sexual Perspective: Homosexuality and Art in the Last 100 Years in the West

First published in 1986 to wide critical acclaim, The Sexual Perspective broke new ground by bringing together and discussing the painting, sculpture and photography of artists who were gay/lesbian/queer/bisexual. The lavishly illustrated new edition discusses the greater lesbian visibility within the visual arts and artist's responses to the AIDS epidemic. Emmanuel Cooper places the art in its artistic, social and legal contexts, making it a vital contribution to current debates about art, gender, identity and sexuality.

More Artists at my website:, My Ramblings/Art


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