Born in London in 1940, John Wonnacott studied at the Slade School of Art between 1958 and 1963. He then taught art at Reading University from 1963 to 1970, and at the Norwich School of Art since 1976. His first one-man show was held in 1977. A painter of portraits, landscapes and self-portraits, Wonnacott lives and works in a house overlooking the Thames estuary at Leigh-on-Sea, near Southend on the South Essex coast. Paintings by Wonnacott are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Portrait Gallery, Tate Britain and the Imperial War Museum in London, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, and elsewhere.