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Harold Knight

Harold Knight c.1923

Harold Knight (1874–1961)

National Portrait Gallery, London

Painter of sensitive portraits, especially of women, and interiors, born in Nottingham. In the mid-1890s he studied at the local School of Art; also studied in Paris at Académie Julian, his teachers including Jean-Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant. Knight married Laura Johnson – later to become Dame Laura Knight – the painter, in 1903, having known her in Nottingham and in Staithes, Yorkshire, where he painted on his return from France. With her he studied the Dutch masters in the Netherlands, then from 1908 they lived for a decade in Newlyn, Cornwall, eventually settling in London. Knight was a steady exhibitor at RA from 1896, being elected RA in 1937. Also showed Leicester Galleries, IS and elsewhere. His reticent work and personality were overshadowed by Laura’s ebullient, more colourful nature and painting, but his pictures’ real qualities have been more appreciated in recent years.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)


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