Exhibition of the week: Laura Knight: Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London WC2


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The Independent Culture

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.

(020 7306 0055) to 13 October