John Arthur Malcolm Aldridge was born in Woolwich and attended Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford. Hisinterest in painting was already evident during his time there and, when he moved to London in 1928, he was invited to exhibit with the Seven and Five Society alongside artists such as Ben Nicholson and Ivon Hitchens. Some years later, in 1933, he held his first solo exhibition and some of his paintings were shown at the Venice Biennale the following year.
When he moved to Great Bardfield, Essex in 1933, Aldridge became part of a group of artists who lived and found inspiration in the Essex countryside, including Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden. During the Second World War, he served in the army and afterwards returned to Great Bardfield and resumed painting. In 1948 he first exhibited at the Royal Academy and he began teaching part-time at the Slade School of Fine Art the following year, working there until his retirement in 1970. He was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1954 and he became a Royal Academician in 1963.
Aldridge painted in oils but also designed textiles and wallpapers, as well as illustrating books. Primarily interested in landscape painting, his pictures are made up of the everyday ingredients that any observer could have found in the villages and fields of Essex, or abroad in France, Italy and Majorca. He also produced several still-life paintings and portraits and his work can now be found in various collections including the National Portrait Gallery and the Tate.