Exhibition of the week: Laura Knight: Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London WC2
The Independent’s former comment editor, Adrian Hamilton writes a weekly column largely on international affairs with particular focus on the Middle East, Iran and foreign policy issues. Before joining the paper he was deputy editor of the Observer newspaper.
Friday 26 July 2013
In her day the best known woman artist in Britain, Laura Knight was of a generation of women determined to make their way in the 20th century as a professional, the equal of any man.
The ambition is there in the first picture which opens an exhibition of her works as a portraitist, a self-portrait that, shockingly for the time, shows her painting a female nude just as a man would and quite as unabashed.
Her Nuremburg war trials work for the War Artists Advisory Committee is equally daring, exhibiting a passionate morality. She was more conventional as a portraitist, but the first-class examples of this work here show a sympathetic artist with an acute eye and a quick brush.
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