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Study for The Flight into Egypt, circa 1933-39
Unmounted (ref: 5866)
Pencil on tracing paper
11 1/2 x 41 in. (29 x 104 cm)
Provenance: The Artist's Family
In 1937, Knights was commissioned by the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres to produce a large Decorative Painting ( 6 x 10 ft) of the Flight into Egypt for Balcarres Castle. This detailed study provides an idea of the landscape in which the narrative was to be set. By the time the Second World War was declared, Knights had partially completed the painting, with the spring flowers and foliage of the riverbank rendered with elaborate and minute detail. As a result of Knights’ sudden death in 1947, the painting was never realised.
When the artist Sir D. Y. Cameron saw these drawings, he admired their intensity of observation: ‘The artist of today might laugh at my love and admiration of her work, so far removed from the spirit of our times’, he wrote. ‘But it is timeless and of another world’.