John Berger Best Books and Series:

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Birth Date: 5 November 1926
Birth Place: London Borough of Hackney
Known as: | John Peter Berger |
Sex: male
Awards: | James Tait Black Memorial Prize | | Groeneveld Award | | Booker Prize |
Birth date: 5 November 1926
Birth place: London Borough of Hackney
Death date: 2 January 2017
Death place: Antony
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Place of burial: None
Time period: None
Father: None
Mother: None
Unmarried partners:
Children: | Jacob Berger |
Native languages:
Writing languages: | English |
All languages: | English |
Political parties:
Member of: Academy of Arts, Berlin
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Also known as: | John Peter Berger |
Native name: John Peter Berger (English)
Birth name: John Peter Berger (English)
Married name: None
Family name: | Berger |
Official name: None
Copyright: works protected by copyrights
Citizenship: | United Kingdom | | France |
Medical conditions:
Net worth: None
Education: | Chelsea College of Art and Design | | Central School of Art and Design | | St Edward's School |
Influenced by:
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Described by: | Encyclopedia of Global Justice (2011 ed.) | | UbuWeb | | Obalky |
Website: | |
Facebook: None
Instagram: None
Youtube: None
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Twitter: None
Vk: None
Telegram: None
Work period start: 1948
Work period end: 2005
Work locations:
Fields of work:
Occupation: | screenwriter | | art historian | | writer | | painter | | novelist | | journalist | | poet | | critic | | author | | opinion journalist | | art critic |
Employer: | St Mary's University, Twickenham |
Owner of:
Archives at: | British Library |

John Berger Biography and Interesting Facts

John Peter Berger (; 5 November 1926 – 2 January 2017) was an English art critic, novelist, painter and poet. His novel G. won the 1972 Booker Prize, and his essay on art criticism Ways of Seeing, written as an accompaniment to the BBC series of the same name, was influential. He lived in France for over fifty years.

Early life

Berger was born on 5 November 1926 in Stoke Newington, London, the first of two children of Miriam and Stanley Berger.His grandfather was from Trieste, Italy, and his father, Stanley, raised as a non-religious Jew who adopted Catholicism, had been an infantry officer on the Western Front during the First World War and was awarded the Military Cross and an OBE.Berger was educated at St Edward's School, Oxford. He served in the British Army during the Second World War from 1944 to 1946. He enrolled at the Chelsea School of Art and the Central School of Art and Design in London.


Berger began his career as a painter and exhibited works at a number of London galleries in the late 1940s. His art has been shown at the Wildenstein, Redfern and Leicester Galleries in London.Berger taught drawing at St Mary's teacher training college. He later became an art critic, publishing many essays and reviews in the New Statesman. His Marxist humanism and his strongly stated opinions on modern art combined to make him a controversial figure early in his career. As a statement of political commitment, he titled an early collection of essays Permanent Red.Berger was never a formal member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB): rather he was a close associate of it and its front, the Artists’ International Association (AIA), until the latter disappeared in 1953. He was active in the Geneva Club, a discussion group that appears to have overlapped with British communist circles in the 1950s.


In 1958, Berger published his first novel, A Painter of Our Time, which tells the story of the disappearance of Janos Lavin, a fictional exiled Hungarian painter, and his diary's discovery by an art critic friend called John. The work was withdrawn by the publisher under pressure from the Congress for Cultural Freedom a month after its publication. His next novels were The Foot of Clive and Corker's Freedom; both of which presented an urban English life of alienation and melancholy. Berger moved to Quincy in the Haute-Savoie, France, in 1962 due to his distaste for life in Britain.In 1972, the BBC broadcast his four-part television series Ways of Seeing and published its accompanying text, a book of the same name. The first episode functions as an introduction to the study of images; it was derived in part from Walter Benjamin's essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction". The subsequent episodes concern the image of woman as a sexualized object in Western culture, expressions of property ownership and wealth in European oil painting, and modern advertising. The series, the first of ... Read full biography