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Gilding the Lily

Date 1926
Technique Etching
Price $2,250.00
Exhibitor Allinson Gallery Inc.
Contact the Exhibitor 860-429-2322
Buy From / See At This Exhibitor's Site

Gilding the Lily. 1926. Soft ground etching. Bolling/Withington 47. 11 1/2 x 7 1/2 (sheet 15 1/4 x 10). Edition 20 or 35 (both numbers are given on different proofs; this one annotated '35') plus trials. A rich impression with plate tone printed on cream wove paper on the full sheet with deckle edges. Signed, titled and annotated in pencil. Housed in an archival mat and an elaborate carved antique gold 23 x 19 x 1 1/4-inch frame weighing 4 1/4 pounds.

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The subject is probably the dancer, Vanda Edina, of whom the artist made a pen and ink drawing in 1924. At this time, Knight was becoming increasingly interested in the life - especially the back-stage life - of theatre and circus performers.

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Dame Laura Knight, DBE RA RWS (4 August 1877 - July 1970) was an English artist who worked in oils, watercolours, etching, engraving and drypoint. Knight was a painter in the figurative, realist tradition who embraced English Impressionism. In her long career Knight was among the most successful and popular painters in Britain. In 1929 she was created a Dame, and in 1936 became the first woman elected to the Royal Academy since its foundation in 1768. Her large retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1965 was another first for a woman.

Although Knight was known for painting the world of the theatre and ballet in London, and for being a war artist during the Second World War, she was also greatly interested in, and inspired by, marginalized communities and individuals, including Gypsies and circus performers. Her success in the male-dominated British art establishment paved the way for greater status and recognition for women artists.

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A  selection of works by Dame Laura Knight is available on the Allinson Gallery, Inc. website.