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Study of bluebells for The Flight into Egypt, c.1938
Framed (ref: 9463)
Tempera on tracing paper
5 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (14 x 14 cm.)
Provenance: The Artists Family; private collection
In 1937, Knights was commissioned by the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres to produce a large Decorative Painting ( 6 x 10 ft) of the Flight into Egypt for Balcarres Castle. The narrative was set on the banks of a stream covered in bluebells . By the time the Second World War was declared, Knights had partially completed the painting, with the spring flowers and foliage of the riverbank rendered with elaborate and minute detail. As a result of Knights’ sudden death in 1947, the painting was never realised.
When the artist Sir D. Y. Cameron saw these drawings, he admired their intensity of observation: ‘The artist of today might laugh at my love and admiration of her work, so far removed from the spirit of our times’, he wrote. ‘But it is timeless and of another world’.