Edward Piper was the eldest son of the artist John Piper and his wife Myfanwy. He studied under Howard Hodgkin at the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham and later at the Slade School in London.
He produced photographs for the Shell County Guides and also undertook graphic design commissions to make a living. However, his real passion was figurative art and painting female nudes in particular. Later he painted landscapes, in Corsica, France, Italy and Spain.
A number of his lithographs and screenprints are to be found in the Tate Gallery collection.
Piper's son Luke Piper is also an artist and his younger son Henry Piper is a sculptor. He died in June 1990 of cancer at the age of 51.