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

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

Harold Knight was a quiet and gentle man, and his wife, the painter, Laura Knight, feared that she had ‘stood in his way’, as a result of the strength of her personality and achievement. Nevertheless, he has received acclaim as a painter, both in his lifetime and since, and especially for his sensitive portraits and interior scenes with figures, which emulate those by his favourite artist, Vermeer.

Harold Knight was born in Nottingham on 27 January 1874, the second of five children of the architect and amateur painter, William Knight, and his wife, Elizabeth (née Symington). His mother has been described as having a ‘rigid puritan temperament’, which ‘did not make for a happy home life for the family’ and ‘sternly repressed’ Harold’s ‘natural instincts’ (Janet Dunbar, 2004).

Between 1881 and 1888, Knight attended Nottingham High School. Then, at the age of only 14, he began to train at Nottingham Municipal School of Art and Design, one of the
oldest and best of the provincial art schools. While there, he met his future wife, Laura Johnson, and they both studied under Herbert Wilson Foster.

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