The forthcoming Lincoln Art Sale on the 25th August already promises to be one of the best ever with a large consignment of modern art including some of the most prominent names of the 20th and 21st centuries.
There are works by Hockney, Blackadder and Sutherland to name but three and they brush shoulders with a number of other big names none more prominent than Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970) who opens up the sale.
It is humbling to think this colossus of life, this household name and advocate of Women’s Rights has a drawing in this art sale and this simple pencil sketch of dancers portrays her skill; just a sketch on one hand but a snippet of her talents on the other, the pencil strokes as expert as any you will see, this is a piece of history from one of the heavy weights.
Things did not begin well for the then simply known Laura Johnson, born into poverty in Long eaton Derbyshire, her plight was not improved by her father walking out on the family and the lace factory owned by her grandfather falling into financial ruin.
Several years in France were miserably spent and her teaching at Nottingham School of Art was to cover her mother who by this time was suffering from serious illness.
Happier times followed with a Gold Medal winning exhibit for South Kensington Museum and her meeting with Harold Knight a highly accomplished artist who she copied, befriended and married at age 17 in 1903.
An 1894 visit to Staithes a quaint Yorkshire fishing village led to a prosperous time when some of Knight’s best works were done.
The well travelled couple went to Holland in 1904 and by 1907 the couple were cornerstones of the Newlyn School along with Lamorna Birch and Alfred Munnings.
The early 20th century was the time when Knight produced her best works with Self Portrait With Nude in 1913 being a particular favourite.
Laura Knight’s travels were as diverse and as plentiful as her works. She was famed for painting members of the travelling community at Epsom and Ascot, toured America, sold to museums throughout the world and even produced a World War Two recruitment poster for the Women’s Land Army. Her oil of the Nuremberg Trials in 1946 was a controversial subject and although the odd work was not well received, she painted every year for the RA including the famed work of strong woman Jean Rhodes.
This genuine great of society died aged 93 in 1970, just days before a major exhibition of her work at Nottingham Castle Art Gallery And Museum.
Her work is famed and renowned and this drawing is a real gem. It is the first lot in this great collection of works and it is highly recommended to at least view these amazing works, you will not be disappointed!
The Lincoln Art Sale is on August 25th please contact our Lincoln offices if you wish to consign or for further details. A preview catalogue is available here