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Fine Art Sale Lot 1094


†DAME LAURA KNIGHT, DBE, RA, RWS (1877-1970) GOING TO SCHOOL signed, oil on canvas, 39 x 50cm, painted in 1901Provenance: Presented by Laura Knight to the ancestor of the present vendor circa 1905/6.Exhibited: Nottingham, Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Exhibition of Watercolours and Oil Paintings by Laura Knight DEB, ARA and Harold Knight ARA, March 24-May 6 1934, No 18, lent by Harold Browne Esq; Dame Laura Knight Nottingham Festival Exhibition, July 11-August 2 1070, No 14, lent from a private collection.Nottingham, Castle Museum, Dame Laura Knight, July-August 1970, No 14.This beautiful intimate picture by Laura Knight, that has never before been offered for sale and not exhibited since 1970, was painted in 1905 or 06. In 1904 and the following year she and Harold Knight spent several months at the artists' colony of Laren in North Holland. On their return to Staithes in works such as Going to School and her 1906 Academy picture Dressing the Children (Ferens Art Gallery, Hull) which it closely resembles the influence of the Dutch artists is apparent. In the 1970 Exhibition the two were shown side by side without disadvantage to either, yet staffed with the same figures and set in the same cottage kitchen. In her autobiography Oil Paint and Grease Paint (1936, to be republished later this year) Laura Knight described the Staithes family who were her models "I made an arrangement to work in a cottage at the top of Cowbar Hill in the same way that we had done in Laren. I rented it by the week using the mother and children as models. While working there I saw greater poverty and misery than it seemed possible for anyone to bear. The wages that the father earned in a mine, although he gave every penny to his wife, would not pay for rent, food and clothes for all. There were four children, Antony, Mary Ann, Anna Margaret, Elizabeth and another on the way..... Harold and I lent the husband £5 to go into the fish-hawking business; with the money they bought a horse and cart. They did so well in their new venture that they even paid back part of the loan. We said they could keep the rest as a gift...."This picture will be included in R John Croft's forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of the works of Dame Laura Knight, DBE, RA, RWS and Harold Knight, RA. Mellors & Kirk is very grateful to Mr Croft for his assistance in the cataloguing of this lot.

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