The Friends of Dame Laura Knight Society,
Malvern & Colwall Branch

Review Article

‘In the Springtime – the Art of Harold Knight

On the evening of 20th March a large and appreciative audience at Colwall Village Hall greeted Dr.Alice Strickland . The subject of her talk was Harold Knight and his work as a portrait painter, famous in his day but latterly neglected.
Harold was married to Laura Knight whom he had known since they were both students at Nottingham School of Art in the 1880’s.

Alice showed us many examples of his early developmental work and portraits.
Some were painted around Lamorna where the couple lived in the artists’ colony for a number of years. One of the portraits was of A.J.Munnings, which was later painted over by Laura. When this was recently discovered beneath her ballet painting it created a ‘media mystery’!

It was interesting to compare some of Harold’s work with Laura’s paintings as they were frequently painting the same subjects at the same time, but in different studios. Harold had influenced Laura in their early years together, but later their style of painting diverged. His work became very calm, still and precise whilst hers was more varied and lively.

They both became well known. Though Laura was the first to become an Associate of the Royal Academy, Harold followed the next year in 1928.

Inevitably the talk about Harold’s life overlapped with that of Laura’s but, in contrast to her, his was a less revealing personality, quieter and more self -contained.

The evening was an enjoyable one, run smoothly by the Society. It was good to meet so many members again for the first time this year and in such congenial surroundings.

Evie Knight thanked Alice for her interesting presentation which reminded us of the range and quality of Harold’s work. We looked forward to more talks from the Speaker who had become a regular contributor to our Society.

Rosemary Harward
April 2015