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Mornie and Her Doll

Harold Knight (1874-1961)



Oil on canvas

11 ¾ x 13 ¾ inches

Samuel John Lamorna Birch, and then by descent

'Chris Beetles Summer Show', 2020, No 102

‘Mornie’ was the childhood name of Elizabeth Lamorna Birch (1904-1990), the elder daughter of the painter, Samuel John Lamorna Birch, and his wife, Houghton. Birch added ‘Lamorna’ to his name in 1896, to associate himself with the cove in West Cornwall at which he founded a colony of artists and writers that operated as an outpost of the Newlyn School. Like her younger sister, Joan (1909-1993), Mornie often modelled for painters, including Thomas Cooper Gotch, Harold Harvey, Augustus John and Laura Knight, as well as Harold Knight and her own father. Harold Knight painted the present portrait in the woods at Lamorna, in about 1909, while he and his wife, Laura, were living at Oakhill. Mornie would also became an artist, specialising in flower subjects and landscapes of Lamorna.