John Craxton was born in London. He studied in Paris in 1939 and then in London until 1942. A friend of Graham Sutherland, Craxton also shared a studio with Lucian Freud from 1942 to 1944. Craxton's early work consisted of neo-romantic landscapes, but after travelling in Europe from 1946 to 1947, his work became more structured, reflecting his interest in Cubism. In particular, Craxton was affected by visiting Greece. The subject matter of his work then turned towards the landscape and culture of Greece and from 1960 he lived in Crete, only occasionally returning to London.