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Harold Knight

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Harold Knight Biography


Nottingham 1874 - 1961 Colwall, Herefordshire



Often best remembered as the husband of Laura Knight, Harold was also an accomplished artist in his own right and showed a particular talent for painting portraits and interiors.


Born in Nottingham, the son of an architect, Knight studied at the Nottingham School of Art and went to Paris in 1894, where he continued his training at the Académie Julian with Benjamin Constant and Jean-Paul Laurens. He married Laura Johnson in 1903 and they spent their early married life in Staithes, Yorkshire. Knight also made several visits to Holland and was considerably influenced both by the Dutch Old Masters and the nineteenth century Hague School of painters. The Knights lived in Newlyn, Cornwall from 1907 to 1918 and then moved to London.


Knight’s first success came in 1905 when his genre scene, A cup of tea, exhibited at the Royal Academy, was bought for the Queensland Art Gallery, Australia. His Royal Academy exhibit of 1909, entitled The letter, marked a change in his choice of subject matter and signified the beginning of a series of paintings of women in interiors; it was acquired by the Leeds City Art Gallery for their permanent collection.


A prolific and successful artist, Knight exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1896 to 1961 and at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters. He was elected a Royal Academician in 1937, and one year later his painting A student was bought for the nation under the terms of the Chantrey Bequest.


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