Ivan Lapper was born in Bilston in Staffordshire. From the age of 12 he attended Bilston Art School on day release from school, followed by Wolverhampton College of Art in 1954, and the Royal College of Art from 1959 to 1962.


Ivan Lapper has worked as a freelance artist in almost every field, providing illustrations for advertising, magazines and books, such as the Reader’s Digest, and was a regular contributor to the Radio Times in the 1970’s.

His work appeared in the Radio Times Golden Age of Illustration Exhibition held at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford in 2000. His illustrations for the press include, the first moon landing and the Aberfan disaster for the Daily Express, and the great train robbery for the Illustrated London News.


Ivan Lapper is well known for his many reconstruction paintings of prehistoric and Roman sites, towns, castles and historic houses, commissioned by museums, by English Heritage, CADW (Welsh Heritage) the National Trust and Historic Royal Palaces. His paintings can be seen at many centres both in Great Britain and abroad. He was commissioned to paint 14 reconstructions showing the development of the Tower of London for the Millennium Exhibition at the Tower of London in 2000; and a further 12 paintings for the Tower Hill Environs Centre at the Tower of London, opened by the Queen in 2004.


Since 2000 Ivan Lapper has devoted all his time to his own paintings, and his work, both in watercolour and oils, has appeared in many exhibitions: The Royal Institute of Oil Painters, The Singer & Friedlander Watercolour Competition, The Royal Watercolour Society’s 21st Century Open Exhibition, The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, The Discerning Eye, The New English Art Club, and The Royal Society of Marine Artists – winner of the Charles Pears award for the best painting by a non member, in the annual exhibition in 2006 and again in 2007.
In Autumn 2010, Ivan was elected a full  Member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists.