Harold Knight

Harold Knight
Harold Knight

Harold Knight was an English painter active in the late 19th end early 20th centuries, and the husband of noted painter Laura Knight (née Laura Johnson), who he met when both were art students.

Harold Knight was known as a portraitist and genre painter. I find his formal portraits of men to be well executed but somewhat prosaic.

His genre paintings and portraits of women — usually engaged in some daily activity, like writing, reading, sewing. or playing music — are quite another thing.

To me they speak of pleasure taken in the little, seemingly insignificant, moments of our lives, moments that can be elevated to special and important if only we would stop and observe.

Some of his interiors remind me of the American painter Edmund Charles Tarbell, and of the apparent influence of Vermeer on both artists.

I am especially drawn to Knight’s paintings in which the subject is portrayed in front of a window, which gives an indication of season and time of day, and adds to the feeling of being present in the moment.