The Poly

24 Church St, Falmouth : 01326 319461
The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society

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Talks // Coming up // AHL: Colourful Characters - Laura Knight’s Models
26 October

AHL: Colourful Characters - Laura Knight’s Models

In this presentation, art historian Catherine Wallace delves into the fascinating array of models portrayed by renowned UK figurative painter Dame Laura Knight RA (1877 – 1970) throughout her illustrious career, highlighting the vivid and diverse characters depicted. 

Initially, Laura Knight's subjects comprised children, marking the inception of her artistic journey. Upon her arrival in Cornwall in 1907 alongside her husband Harold, she embarked on capturing fellow artists such as Eileen Mayo and Ella Naper, as well as professional models, in her striking nude paintings. Furthermore, Knight had the privilege of acquainting herself with luminaries from London's ballet and theatre scene, including Pavlova and John Gielgud, whom she immortalized on canvas. 

Catherine offers an enthralling glimpse into the world of circus personalities who became cherished friends of Laura Knight during her travels with them in the 1920s and 30s, encompassing clowns, animals, and gypsies. Finally, the presentation concludes with an exploration of the models Dame Laura painted as an official war artist during the Second World War, notably featuring Ruby Loftus.

Catherine Wallace is a freelance art historian, writer and lecturer specialising in British and  European 19th and 20th century art with a focus on artists who were based in Cornwall, England. Wallace also has an in depth knowledge of commercial contemporary art and artists from Cornwall. Catherine Wallace has over 30 years experience as a curator and writer on art. This informs the lectures and guided tours she now offers online and live in Cornwall.

Art History Lecture: Colourful Characters - Laura Knight’s Models
Thursday 26th October 6:00pm

Tickets: £12

A £1 Poly Fund payment is added to each ticket sold

You may also be interested in the rest of our Art History Lecture Series given by Catherine Wallace: 

Pioneer Women Artists in Falmouth (17th Century to 1940) Thursday 28th September 6.00pm

Colourful Characters - Laura Knight’s Models Thursday 25th October 6.00pm 

From Fertiliser to Fine Art: Alfred De Pass (1861 – 1952) Art Collector & Philanthropist Thursday 30th November 6.00pm

Rural Realism: The influence of Jules Bastien- Lepage on The Newlyn School and International Contemporaries Thursday 25th January 2024 6.00pm

Father and Daughter: Norman and Alethea Garstin - Two Impressionists in Cornwall Thursday 29th February 2024 6.00pm

Alfred Wallis (1855 – 1942) Naïve Painter and Modernist Inspiration Thursday 28th March 2024 6.00pm

As a special bonus buy tickets to all 6 events in the same transaction and save £1.17 per event! (we recommend doing this in person or over the phone as this can be confusing online)

Motley, preparing for her Entrance (detail), 1937, oil by  Dame Laura Knight  ©The Estate of Dame Laura Knight




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© The Poly - The Poly is the trading name of the Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society Limited, a company limited by guarantee and incorporated in England and Wales with company registration number 03909555 and registered charity number 1081199, with its registered office at 24 Church Street, Falmouth TR11 3EG