Born in Paisley, 1940. Studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1958 to 1963. While a student he won the Newbery Medal, the W.O.Hutcheson Prize for drawing and the Bellahouston Scholarship. During a period in Italy in the 1960's he was influenced by the work of Giotto in Assisi. A painter in oils and an illustrator, using a variety of styles and techniques, John Byrne is also a prominent theatre designer and playwright.