Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Winifred Knights (1899-1947)   BIOGRAPHY

Landscape, Piediluco, 1924
Framed (ref: 82)

Brown ink on tracing paper, squared, laid on paper, 5 3/4 x 10 3/4 in. (14.5 x 25.7 cm., mount opening)


Exhibited: The Fine Art Society, 1995 (9e)

Although Winifred Knights' Rome Scholarship came to an end in 1923, she continued to live and work at the British School at Rome during 1924-5, where she married her fellow student Thomas Monnington in April 1924. These studies, undertaken whilst on her honeymoon at Lake Piedeluca, were later used as the background of Knights' epic Santissima Trinita, 1924-30.

Knights made extensive landscape studies during her stay in Italy (see Italian Landscape, 1920, Tate Gallery NO3683), most frequently of the countryside around Lazio, Umbria and the Abruzzi. She often worked in triplicate, creating a drawing, then an outline on tracing paper and lastly a colour study. This colour study is sold with a brown ink outline drawing of the same subject.

Winifred Knights (1899-1947)

Painter and draughtsman, born in London, married to the artist Walter Thomas Monnington. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, 1915-17 and 1918-20. Her teachers included Henry Tonks and Fred Brown and she personified the Slade School tradition under their reign. In 1919 she won the Slade Summer Composition Prize (for Mill Hands on Strike) and the following year the coveted Rome Scholarship. She remained in Rome 1920-25, marrying fellow Rome Scholar Thomas Monnington in April 1924. One of her principal works was The Marriage at Cana for the British School at Rome, now in the National Gallery of New Zealand in Wellington. The Tate Gallery also holds her work, including her iconic winning entry for the Rome Scholarship, The Deluge, 1919. Knights died in London at the age of 48.

Had Knights produced more during her relatively short life she might well today be considered among the major women painters of the twentieth century.

Selected literature: Paul Liss, Winifred Knights, The British School at Rome/Fine Art Society plc, 1995

See all works by Winifred Knights