John Melville (1902-1986) was an artist in both oil and watercolour, noted especially for his contribution to Surrealism. He was born in London but moved with his family to Birmingham at a young age. Melville was largely self-taught as an artist and after joining the Birmingham Surrealists in the early 1930s he later became associated with the Surrealists in London, with whom his brother Robert Melville, the art critic, was also connected. He exhibited at Lucy Wertheim’s gallery in London in 1932, also at St George’s Gallery, with the Royal Society of Birmingham Artists, and showed at other galleries in Britain, joining the Surrealist Group in 1938. By the 1940s he was painting portraits and still life subjects but later returned to Surrealism. Melville’s work suffered neglect for many years but in 1986, the year of his death, Blond Fine Art held a retrospective show and in the following year Gothick Dream Fine Art held a memorial exhibition. His reputation was further enhanced in 2001 when Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery held an exhibition 'Surrealism in Birmingham', which featured Melville’s work prominently.