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Laura Knight at National Portrait Gallery

26 September 2013 at 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Dame Laura Knight, Self Portrait, 1913
Dame Laura Knight with model, Ella Louise Naper (‘Self Portrait’)
by Dame Laura Knight
oil on canvas, 1913
Credit line: © Reproduced with permission of The Estate of Dame Laura Knight DBE RA, 2013. All Rights Reserved.

Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970) was one of the leading British painters of the 20th century and the first woman since the founding of the Royal Academy in 1768 to be accepted as a full member.  Over the course of her extraordinarily productive career of more than 70 years, she successfully negotiated the professional art world at a time when other women artists struggled for recognition.  Towards the end of her career in her second autobiography, she acknowledged the professional inequalities between men and women that persisted: “even today, a female artist is considered more or less a freak, and may either be undervalued or overpraised, and by sole virtue of her rarity and her sex be of better press value.”
The National Portrait Gallery has brought together more than 35 of Knight’s portraits which demonstrate her skill as a painter and draughtsman, her courage in tackling complex compositions and challenging subjects and her compassionate approach to the sitters with whom she worked.  These include her first Self Portrait, the artist painting a nude model, now considered a central work in the history of female portraiture, which challenged accepted conventions of the time for women painters as they were denied access to nude models while in art school.
Rosie Broadley, exhibition curator, has agreed to guide us through the exhibition which includes portraits of a diverse array of sitters: ballet, circus and theatre performers, patients in a Baltimore hospital, members of the Armed Forces and munitions workers during WW II and participants in the Nuremburg war trials.
Free to Patrons; £20 for Friends and £35 for guests.  Includes drink before the tour, entry to the exhibition and the guided visit.  Option to stay for dinner after the tour in the Portrait Restaurant.   Please indicate in your reply if you would like to stay for a self-hosted dinner.  To RSVP, email  and post cheque to Friends of NMWA UK, Box 539, 28 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3SS.


26 September 2013
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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