Dame Laura Knight RA, RWS, RE, RWA, PSWA, DBE (1877-1970), The Bathing Pool, gouache on paper, signed and dated lower right 'Laura Knight '12', 45.5x66cm.
Provenance: the painting was purchased by the vendor’s father from Knight’s retrospective exhibition held at the Royal Academy in 1965, where it was item number 84. There is a letter from Knight to the buyer. The original exhibition catalogue is with the painting.
From 1907 Knight lived in Cornwall, first in Newlyn, then the village of Lamorna, just west of Penzance. Around this time Knight began painting nudes outdoors. Lamorna is a rocky cove, surrounded by quarries, with the great rocks seemingly tumbling into the sea, and it was typically on these rocks or atop the cliffs that Knight set her nude compositions. There was, apparently, some local resentment at this, but the landowner Col. Paynter, allowed Knight a free rein. This piece, painted in 1912, is almost certainly Lamorna, the bathers in a granite rock pool exposed by the low tide.