13,303 visitors today 122 antiques added today
Relevant Categories
antique photo
Choose an antique category

Drawing By Laura Knight – 'soldiers' 1953


£750 | $1,045 USD | €874 EUR
Item Number: SA802042
Date of manufacture: 1950
Current Status: For sale
Seller: Radnorshire Fine Arts Ltd
This antique has been viewed 11 times in the past month with the most views from Germany.


Signed with full name and title (lower right). Charcoal on white wove paper – watermark: Whatman 1950 England. Provenance: with Reigate Galleries Ltd (now dissolved). Handwritten on the old Gallery label: 1947 (incorrectly dated) Stratford. The drawing is in excellent condition. Presented with a new wash line mount within a period oak frame and glazed.
Sheet: 14 3/8 in x 10 in. (36.5 cm x 25.4 cm.)
Mount window: 13 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in. (35 cm x 24.6 cm.)
Frame: 20 3/8 in x 16 7/8 in. (51.7 cm x 42.8 cm.)
The study depicts a Shakespearian actor dressed as a soldier leaning against a post backstage in a theatre. A quick but effective drawing from the post-war era; the dimensions of the drawing are the same as those produced by Knight during the production of Henry VI at the Old Vic in 1953.
Between 1911 until 1929, Knight drew and painted backstage, some of the most famous ballet dancers of the day from Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Knight also painted backstage, and in the dressing rooms, at several Birmingham Repertory Theatre productions. Working backstage improved her drawings as it forced her to produce quick drawings that reduced line to a minimum, they were equally important drawings that were accurate. If Laura’s drawings were inaccurate the famous ballet instructor Cecchetti would blame the dancer, not Laura. Also in the 1920s, Laura met Bertram Mills and the Great Carmo that began Laura’s famous circus scenes. During the war Knight was an official war artist. After the war ended Barry Jackson took control of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Knight again became theatrically minded and spent many seasons with him and Scott Sunderland. Later Barry Jackson asked Laura to do a number of records for him at The Old Vic “I filled many big sketch books with perhaps the best drawings I ever did of life backstage” p.325 Magic of a Line.
Born at Long Eaton, Derbyshire, and raised in Nottingham, Laura attended art school near Paris, then Nottingham School of Art in 1890, where she met Harold KNIGHT, marrying him in 1903. After living in the arts colony at Staithes, the couple moved to Cornwall in 1907 and soon made friends with Dod PROCTER, Ernest PROCTER, and the Birch family, amongst many others. She involved herself indefatigably in the life of the Lamorna arts community, and was infamous for painting nude models on the cliffs nearby. She sold Mischief and The Kitten from NAG in 1910. Her friendship with the Birch family was maintained in correspondence with Mornie KERR until her death, and much valued, the child having featured as a model in Laura's and Harold's Cornish paintings.
The Knights were especially close friends of the Napers, the Leaders, the Hughes, and the Birches, and Laura was always careful to keep in touch with them over her long and celebrated life. Later, after leaving Cornwall in 1919, the Knights established themselves in London. During the 1920s and 1930s she became the well known painter of ballet, circus and gypsy life. She worked as a war artist during WWII, and in 1942 was appointed to record the Nuremberg trials in drawings.
In their concluding review of her life and work, Grimes et al comment: 'Women interested in British art, and British women artists, have all too few role models - Laura Knight is one of the most inspiring.' Her two volume autobiography Oil Paint and Grease Paint (1936) and The Magic of a Line (1965), though not great literature, provides one of the few first-hand accounts published of the community life of the artists in West Cornwall; the anecdotes from it are regularly rehearsed in the biographies of those who knew her.
All our prices include FREE packing and delivery within the UK.
For delivery costs outside of the UK please contact us with your shipping address so we can provide options and prices.
PayPal /Card transactions can be processed through PayPal on our company website. We also accept payment by cheque and bank transfer. Deferred payments can be accepted over an agreed period of time whilst paintings remain with us.


This item is antique. The date of manufacture has been declared as 1950.


Height = 51.7 cm (20.4")
Width = 42.8 cm (16.9")
Depth = 0 cm (0.0")

Seller Details

Radnorshire Fine Arts Ltd
United Kingdom

International Tel:

Email seller about this item:

Link to this item

Similar antiques ... view more

Other relevant categories