Craxton was friendly with Graham Sutherland and Lucian Freud and became recognised as a member of the Neo-Romantic group of painters. He had his first solo show at the Leicester Galleries, 1944. In 1946 Craxton visited Greece for the first time, and later lived in Crete. Their landscape left a mark on his work.
A retrospective of his work was held at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1967, John Craxton: From the Artist’s Collection was at Pallant House, 1998-9 and most recently ‘Charmed Lives in Greece’, an exhibition which focused on the friendship between Craxton, Niko Ghika and the writer Patrick Leigh Fermor was held at the British Museum.