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Laura Knight ( nee Johnson) one of the most famous and prolific female British artists started life in most impoverished circumstances, having to quickly learn how to fend for herself from an early age as together with her sister Eva ( “Sis”) she became orphaned in her late teens.
She led a full life:
The only woman to be given War Commissions in the two World Wars.
In 1946, at the age of 69! she was commissioned as the only British artist to cover the Nuremberg Trials.
The first female artist to be made a Dame of the British Empire at a time when such awards were rarely given and not so prolifically as today.
More at http://www.damelauraknight.com/educational-information/bibliography-dame-laura-knight/
(b. Long Eaton, Derbyshire, 4. Aug. 1877; d. London, 7 July 1970). In the first half of the century she was one of the most highly regarded British artists and in 1936 she became the first woman to be created a Royal Academician since the original women members Angelica Kauffmann and Mary Moser. At the height of her considerable fame (she was regarded as a ‘character’—the nearest equivalent to a female Augustus John) she won great popularity for her colorful scenes of circus life and the ballet, but these now often seem rather corny.
On the other hand, her early Newlyn School landscapes, which at their best have a sparkling sense of joie de vivre, have recently come back into favor. Some of the work she did as an Official War Artist during World War II is also now highly regarded. In 1946 she went to Nuremberg to make a pictorial record of the War Criminals' Trial; she made scores of sketches from which she produced a large painting (The Dock, Nuremberg, 1946). Her husband Harold Knight was also a painter, mainly of portraits.
Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)
A great thing about Knight’s work is that she delves into such a range of different cultures and...