Knights, Winifred

(1899 – 1947)

Full length standing nude, hands on hips (recto); rear view (verso)


11 1/4 x 9 3/4 in. (28.6 x 24.7 cm)
Drawing to reverse


The Artists Family

Drawing to reverse: 

Lessons in anatomy were a central feature of Slade training. Knights attended the lectures given by Professor George Dancer Thane.
In its use of decisive contours and subtle shading, this portrait exemplifies the Slade tradition which sought to emulate the draughtsmanship of earlier masters such as Durer and Ingres. 

Liss Llewellyn are continually seeking to improve the quality of the information on their website. We actively undertake to post new and more accurate information on our stable of artists. We openly acknowledge the use of information from other sites including Wikipedia, and and other public domains. We are grateful for the use of this information and we openly invite any comments on how to improve the accuracy of what we have posted.


Knights, Winifred

1899 – 1947

Winifred Knights was born in Streatham, London in 1899. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art (1915’17, 1918’20 and 1926’27) . In 1919 she jointly won the Slade Summer Composition Competition with A Scene in a Village Street with Mill-Hands Conversing. In 1920, she became the first woman to win the Scholarship in Decorative Painting awarded by the British School at Rome. She remained in Italy until December 1925, marrying fellow Rome Scholar Thomas Monnington (1902’1976) in April 1924. On her return to England, Knights received a commission to paint an altarpiece for the Milner Memorial Chapel in Canterbury. A major commission for the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres, on which she had been working for five years, remained unconcluded at her early death, aged 47.
Throughout her life, Winifred Knights produced work through which she explored women’s autonomy. Presenting herself as the central protagonist, and selecting models from her inner circle, she rewrote and reinterpreted fairy tale and legend, biblical narrative and pagan mythology. She was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery in 2016.


Compositional study for The Flight into Egypt, circa 1938
Study for the Marriage at Cana with a self portrait, circa 1923
Study for St Martin altarpiece, angel from the waist down
Study for Scenes from the Life of St Martin of Tours, circa 1929