Keith Vaughan was born in Sussex. He worked in advertising and painted in his spare time, before joining the army where he became noticed for his drawings of army life. The main theme in Vaughan’s work is the male nude in the landscape. During the 1950s his art was influenced by Cézanne and Matisse and particularly by Nicolas de Staël, whose work helped him to combine figurative and abstract elements in his painting. Although he had no formal art training, Vaughan had studied Italian Renaissance art at school, which also influenced his sense of composition. He taught at several art schools in London and travelled widely. From 1939 to the end of his life, Vaughan kept a journal, which has since been published, that records his feelings about his work and his homosexuality.