A view of Malvern Priory, painted between 1935 and 1951. The artist wrote of the subject: 'This picture took me years to paint. what happens in that fraction of an instant of time when lightning strikes? I had to see it time after time to memorize how the brilliance of the stroke lights, even brighter than the light of day, whatever object it comes near. Just the zig-zag usually painted that illuminates nothing, is not the truth. What a complication of study - not seen every day. 'Our Town' is Malvern; the Church is Malvern Priory. A storm was taking place one day when Harold rushed to me downstairs at the Mount Pleasant Hotel where we were staying: 'Come up to your bedroom quick and see what's going on, it's wonderful.'
(Dame Laura Knight, private correspondence, December 1959).
Laura and Harold Knight became frequent visitors to Malvern after forming a friendship with Sir Barry Jackson, founder of the Malvern Festival.
We are grateful to John Croft, F.C.A., the artist's great nephew, for his help in researching this picture, which will appear in his forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the works of Dame Laura Knight.