Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Arnold Mason (1885-1963)   BIOGRAPHY

Portrait of Winifred Knights Sleeping, circa 1920
Framed (ref: 102)

Pencil on paper, 11 x 15 3/8 in. (28 x 39 cm.)


Provenance: Winifred Knights' own collection; John Monnington, the artist's son
Exhibited: possibly Jane, pencil drawing, Royal Academy, 1920 (1098)

In 1918, Arnold Mason enrolled at the Slade where he became a good friend of Knights. Knights was staying with Mason at his studio The Old Mill, Ludlow, in September 1920, when she received news that she had won the Rome Scholarship. Prior to leaving for Rome, Mason and Knights became engaged (see photo). Although in 1924 Knights married fellow Rome Scholar Tom Monnington, the friendship with Mason lasted throughout their lives. In 1947 Mason exhibited a posthumous portrait at the Royal Academy, The Late Winifred Knights, (350). This outstanding pencil portrait by Mason was one which Knights retained throughout her life. A slightly earlier portrait of Knights by Mason is in the Queen's Collection (Royal Library Windsor, 23047).

Arnold Mason (1885-1963)

Landscape and portrait painter, born at Birkenhead, Cheshire. He studied at the Royal College of Art and the Slade, and also in Paris and Rome. He helped Sir William Richmond with decorations at the Old Bailey, London, 1906-8. He served in the Artists' Rifles, 1915-1918. He exhibited at the RA from 1919, being elected RA in 1951. He also showed at NEAC, RP, Leicester Galleries, Goupil Gallery and ROI. Examples of his work are in the collections of the Tate Gallery, Manchester City Art Gallery and Wakefield City Art Gallery.

Mason earned his living mostly by painting portraits, much in the style of Augustus John, with whom he shared a studio. He was engaged to fellow Slade artist Winifred Knights and produced a number of remarkable portraits of her.

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