Laura Knight

The Bathing pool

The Bathing pool by Laura Knight

Artwork Detail

Laura Knight began her studies at the Nottingham School of Art when she was just thirteen years of age, thanks to the increased accessibility of institutional art education for women around the turn of the nineteenth century. She was enrolled by her mother, who was an art teacher, and who realised that as an artisan student she would not have to pay fees. She met her future husband Harold, while she was studying. They married when she was 26, and spent their honeymoon in London, visiting exhibitions of Dutch paintings at the Guildhall. Trips to Holland alerted them to the painterly techniques of Rembrandt and Frans Hals, Vermeer's work in particular influencing her composition of individual portraits. While working in Cornwall before the First World War, Knight became absorbed in studies of the female nude. These were well received, as were her paintings of female circus and theatrical performers. The Bathing Pool was made in the summer of 1918, at a time when sketching anywhere on the English coast was prohibited for reasons of national security. The figures are Pauline and Joy Newton, who with a friend 'often posed for me on the rocks . . . both girls were a lovely pair of long-legged colts, full of mischief'. (from The Guide, 2001)

The Bathing pool
Laura Knight
Production date
oil on canvas
748 x 873 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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