Desmond Chute was born in Bristol and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art from 1912. After meeting the sculptor Eric Gill in 1915, he became an apprentice in Gill's workshop. In 1921 Chute travelled to Fribourg in Switzerland to study for the priesthood. After his ordination in 1927, he went to live in Rapallo, Italy, where he spent the rest of his life, apart from several short visits to Britain. Chute is known primarily as a writer and fine draughtsman.