This fabulous exhibition of over 30 portraits by Dame Laura Knight (1877 – 1970) brings together many remarkable images that capture contemporary life. From dancers of the Ballet Russes to the circus, the Nuremberg trials to Gypsies at the Epsom races and her acclaimed work as official war artist, her subjects and sitters are incredibly diverse.
I have known of the artists self-portrait of 1913 in the National Portrait Gallery for years but many of these portraits were previously unknown to me. This stunning portrait which shows the artist in front of her painting of the nude on the left while the model stands with arms raised on the right is included in the exhibition. The painters portraits of English Gypsies are remarkable. The paintings Old Gypsy Woman (1938), The Gypsy below (1939) and Beulah No 2 from the late 1930’s are particularly powerful and sensitive portrayals of her Gypsy sitters.
The exhibition continues at the National Portrait Gallery until October 13th 2013. Not to be missed.