Laura Knight

British, b.1877, d.1970

Bank Holiday (55 Edition)

  • May G Moore Bequest, 1954
  • Aquatint
  • 467 x 290mm
  • 69/418
  • c. 1925

In Britain a ‘Bank Holiday’ is a public holiday and so often used as an occasion for public entertainment. It was the kind of festivity that Dame Laura Knight enjoyed celebrating in her work. This print drew on an experience she had on Hampstead Heath in London. She said she never missed going there because it was ‘rich in materials’. Knight would sketch in amongst crowds and work her sketches into prints in the studio. Her earliest prints date from 1923 when she was already a mature artist. She completed 27 works that year and all had a sense of exuberance and immediacy. Knight was educated in both England and France and studied art at the Nottingham School of Art and at the Royal College of Art. She exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1903. She was married to Harold Knight, also an artist, and they lived mainly in St John’s Wood, London, and Newlyn, Cornwall, where they were a part of Lamorna Birch’s circle of artists.