Dame Laura Knight DBE RA RE RWS (1877-1970)

An English artist who worked in oils, watercolours, etching, engraving and drypoint. Knight was a painter in the figurative, realist tradition and who embraced English Impressionism. In her long career, Knight was among the most successful and popular painters in Britain. Her success in the male-dominated British art establishment paved the way for greater status and recognition for women artists. In 1929, she was created a Dame, and in 1936 became the first woman elected to full membership of the Royal Academy since its foundation in 1768. During the war, her popularity and distinguished career made her an obvious choice for the War Artists Advisory Committee, who tasked British artists with recording the war. In 1945 she asked to record the trial of Nazi war criminals in Nuremberg. Her large retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1965 was the first for a woman. Several long biographies have been written on her fascinating life and her work is represented in most decent public collections.

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