Percy Frederick Horton was born 1897 in Brighton, Sussex. He studied at Brighton School of Art, Sussex between1912 and 1916.
Horton was a socialist and a member of the Labour Party. On the outbreak of World War 1 in 1916 he joined Brighton’s No-Conscription Fellowship, and refused to be called-up for service. He was sentenced to 2 years hard labour in Carlton Prison, Edinburgh until 1918.
He then went on to study at Central School of Art, London and later at the Royal College of Art, where he would later teach in the 1930s and 40s. During World War 2 the Royal College of Art was evacuated to Ambleside, Lake District where he produced a series of paintings of the Lake District and the local people.
During the war he drew many portraits and painted scenes in factories at the request of the War Artists Advisory Committee. In the 1930s during the Depression, he created a series of portraits of the unemployed.
Horton regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy, Society of British Artist and the New English Art Club. In 1949 he became Ruskin Master of Drawing at Oxford University, where he stayed until his retirement in 1964.
He died on 4 November 1970.