This lot is offered by Christie Manson & Woods Ltd
Christie Manson & Woods Ltd
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According to the label attached to the stretcher, this painting was executed when Knight was only nineteen, living at home with his parents and studying at the Nottingham School of Art. Three years later, after travelling to Paris to study at the Académie Julien, Knight chose it as his inaugural exhibit at the Royal Academy. It is believed to have been given by Harold Knight to a fellow student of the Nottingham School of Art known as Riley. Although Harold and Laura Knight did not move to Newlyn until 1907, When the cat’s away shows that even as a student, Knight was looking at the work of artists such as Alexander Stanhope Forbes and his wife Elizabeth, and Frank Bramley, who found that painting inside allowed them to observe different light effects. They often retreated inside to paint and some of their finest works were executed indoors. The painting is to be included in the catalogue raisonné of Laura and Harold Knight currently being compiled by R John Croft FCA, the great-nephew of the artist.
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The canvas is on its original stretcher, which is providing good support. There are some areas of craquelure visible in the darker pigments but these appear to be stable.
Examination under UV, presents minor areas of inpainting to the aforementioned craquelure. These are mainly to the left of the figure, in the background of the painting. Some of the pigments fluoresce under UV but these appear consistent with the artist's original paintwork.
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