Winifred Knights (1899-1947):
Edge of Abruzzi; Boat with three people on a lake
Framed (ref: 927)
Signed on the reserved with initials and dated 1930
Oil on canvas
26 3/16 x 26 3/16 in. (66.5 x 66.5 cm)
Provenance: French Gallery; Stephen Courtauld
I had seen reproductions of Edge of Abruzzi; Boat with three people on
a lake many times and had even visited Piediluco, the small town near
Rome from where my mother drew her inspiration for this picture. But
I only got to see the original artwork in 2016 when it formed part of the
Winifred Knights exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery.
I returned to view it on several occasions, its immense beauty
having a very powerful effect on me. Even when surrounded by many,
many visitors I always fell under its quiet spell as it revealed yet another
intricate detail. I feel sad and joyful at the same time that I have, at last,
seen the painting ‘in the flesh’ – sad that I will probably never get to view
it again, but happy that I have had the opportunity to study and enjoy
this most wonderful work at close hand.
When I was a schoolboy, I was slightly aware of there being
something exceptional about my mother, but I was totally ignorant of
her true abilities. Now, at the end of my life, I am delighted to have
learnt of her tremendous talent and been able to appreciate so much of
her work, from childhood sketches through to her major pictures. She
had just begun to paint again – after a twelve year hiatus – when she died
so tragically young at the age of forty-seven.
Commentary by John Monnington. Monnington (b.1934) is a retired precision engineer. He is the son of Winifred Knights and Sir Walter Thomas Monnington (PRA), and acts as archivist of their works.