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Harold Knight RA ROI RP RWA PNSA (1874-1961)


Harold Knight, RA ROI RP RWA PNSA (1874-1961)

Though overshadowed by his wife, Dame Laura Knight, Harold Knight was a skilful and successful painter specialising in striking and sensitive portraits and figure subjects.

Harold Knight was born in Sherwood, Nottingham, on 27 January 1874, the eldest son of William Knight, an architect and amateur painter. Educated at Nottingham High School, he began to study art under William Foster at the local school of art and proved an outstanding student, winning a number of competitions organised by the Royal College of Art. While there, he befriended Laura Johnson (who would become his wife in 1903, and gain fame as Laura Knight). The award of a British Institute scholarship helped him to travel to Paris – in the company of Laura – to study at the Académie Julian under J P Laurens and J J Benjamin-Constant. Soon after their return to England, in 1897, they accepted the invitation of Thomas Barrett, a master at Nottingham School of Art, to stay at his cottage in Staithes, on the North Yorkshire coast.

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