Knights, Winifred

(1899 – 1947)

Study for the Marriage at Cana with a self portrait, circa 1923

£8,000.00

Pencil

1 in stock

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
The Artist’s son John Monnington until 1995, David Thompson until 2018

‘My picture will be very beautiful. I have drawn 11 plates of melon, pink melon; 9 glasses of wine some empty, because they have run out, & 38 people’. Letter to Mother, 24th August 1922.

The ‘Marriage at Cana’, started in 1922, is the principal painting produced by Knights during her time at the British School at Rome.


It depicts the miracle of the water turned into wine, (related in John 2:1-12). The setting for the painting is the Borghese Gardens adjoining the British School at Rome. The setting is also reminiscent of the background devised by Piero delta Francesca for the fresco of ‘The Adoration of the True Cross’ in the Church of S.Francesco in Arezzo, visited by Knights prior to starting work on her own composition.

The artist includes herself among the guests, along side, in the earliest studies, Arnold Mason. Tom Monnington, who did not arrive at the British School at Rome until 1923, is included in later studies at the far end of the table, in effect next to Mason. As known rivals over Knights they clearly made an ill-suited pair for a marriage feast and Mason is subsequently omitted from the final composition.

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THE ARTIST

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.

MORE PICTURES BY ARTIST

Compositional study for The Flight into Egypt, circa 1938
£17,500.00
Study for the Marriage at Cana with a self portrait, circa 1923
£8,000.00
Study for St Martin altarpiece, angel from the waist down
£3,000.00
Study for Scenes from the Life of St Martin of Tours, circa 1929
£15,000.00