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Church of the Holy Nativity, Knowle, near Bristol

© the Piper Estate / DACS 2023. Photo credit: Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives

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The War Artists' Advisory Committee commissioned John Piper to paint a series of bomb-damaged churches. It was an inspired choice, for Piper had a deep and sympathetic understanding of Britain's rich architectural history. During the 1930s he was closely connected with progressive artists but by the outbreak of the war he had already abandoned abstraction. However, his bold colours, treatment of space and form, and the texture of his paint surface reflect those earlier experiments with abstraction and collage.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery



Church of the Holy Nativity, Knowle, near Bristol




oil on canvas on wood


H 61.3 x W 50.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from the Imperial War Museum, 1947

Work type



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Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Queens Road, Bristol, Bristol BS8 1RL England

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