Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Winifred Knights (1899-1947)   BIOGRAPHY

 PRIVATE COLLECTION
 
Study for 'Design for Wall Decoration' - Three Women Bearing Baskets of Apples, circa 1918
Framed (ref: 84)

Inscribed on the reverse: W. M. Knights, 22 Madeira Road, Streatham.

Pencil on paper, squared, 24 5/8 x 18 ins. (62.5 x 45.7 cm.)


 


Provenance: the artist's estate
Exhibited: London, The Fine Art Society, Winifred Knights, 1995, no. 2a
Literature: Paul Liss, Winifred Knights, The Fine Art Society, 1995, no. 2a, pp. 31 and 48

This study is for the earliest of Knights' decorative paintings: Design for Wall Decoration, the Slade Sketch Club Special Figure Subject for January 1918. Knights painted an oil of the Design for Wall Decoration (see below), but the mural itself is unlikely to have been executed - other studies indicate that its intended size was to be 5 x 6 ft (the size of paintings entered for the Scholarship to Rome). The picture is inspired by the Italian Primitives, as the clarity of form, and the thoughtful arrangement of the figures in space indicate. The studies for the composition were probably executed while staying at Lineholt Farm in Worcestershire, between October 1917 and October 1918.



Winifred Knights (1899-1947)

Painter and draughtsman, born in London, married to the artist Walter Thomas Monnington. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, 1915-17 and 1918-20. Her teachers included Henry Tonks and Fred Brown and she personified the Slade School tradition under their reign. In 1919 she won the Slade Summer Composition Prize (for Mill Hands on Strike) and the following year the coveted Rome Scholarship. She remained in Rome 1920-25, marrying fellow Rome Scholar Thomas Monnington in April 1924. One of her principal works was The Marriage at Cana for the British School at Rome, now in the National Gallery of New Zealand in Wellington. The Tate Gallery also holds her work, including her iconic winning entry for the Rome Scholarship, The Deluge, 1919. Knights died in London at the age of 48.

Had Knights produced more during her relatively short life she might well today be considered among the major women painters of the twentieth century.

Selected literature: Paul Liss, Winifred Knights, The British School at Rome/Fine Art Society plc, 1995

See all works by Winifred Knights