John Lessore was born in London and comes from a family of artists. He is a figurative artist, although he rarely paints from life. Instead, he works from sketches and memories, often building up a composition over a long period of time. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, from 1957-61. On leaving he won a travelling scholarship to Italy. In 1965 he began teaching at the Royal Academy Schools, a post he held until 1999. In 2000 he co-founded the Royal Drawing School and he was a trustee of The National Gallery, London from 2003-11. Lessore lives and works in London, East Anglia and France.