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Dame Laura Knight, R.A., R.W.S. (1877-1970)
Dame Laura Knight, R.A., R.W.S. (1877-1970)
Dame Laura Knight, R.A., R.W.S. (1877-1970)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Dame Laura Knight, R.A., R.W.S. (1877-1970)

In the Ring

Details
Dame Laura Knight, R.A., R.W.S. (1877-1970)
In the Ring
signed 'Laura Knight' (lower left)
oil on canvas
44 x 37 in. (111.8 x 94 cm.)
Provenance
The artist, until sold in 1962 to
Mrs. Grant, by whom sold
Anonymous sale; Philip's, London, 7 June 1994, lot 18.
with Richard Green, London, 12 September 1994, where purchased by the present owner.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
This lot has been imported from outside the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Customs Duty (as applicable) will be added to the hammer price and Import VAT at 20% will be charged on the Duty inclusive hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer's premium and will be shown separately on our invoice. Please see Conditions of Sale.
Sale room notice
Please note that this lot should have been marked with an Ω symbol in the catalogue to indicate that Customs Duty (as applicable) will be added to the hammer price and Import VAT at 20% will be charged on the Duty inclusive hammer price.

Brought to you by

Charlotte Young
Charlotte Young Associate Director, Specialist

Lot Essay


In the Ring depicts the Hungarian trainer Captain Anker, who was only 4 foot 6 inches tall, under canvas at Carmo's Circus with his Hungarian bred horses 'Pinto' and 'Apollo', the latter standing on two hind legs. 'Apollo' was originally purchased by the circus as lion meat, but Captain Anker realised the horse’s potential as a circus performing horse and soon stopped that idea.

The work was painted shortly after the great uninsured fire at Carmo's Circus in March 1930, which destroyed the great tent, when the artist joined the touring circus in Hanley. In her autobiography Laura Knight recalls the fire and how Mrs Anker valiantly saved their wagon, of which they were so proud, by swabbing out pieces of lighted canvas that kept falling. At the time Carmo's Circus was in great financial difficulties, with salaries and wages in arrears and doom and despondency hanging over most of the circus performers. By contrast Laura Knight has created an image of joyful entertainment which revels in the colour and spectacle of the circus, a subject that had long fascinated her.

The present picture was painted from a study for similar larger painting, Under the Big Top, that portrays the clowns Joe Craston and Marba standing by the Ring entrance watching the show.

We are grateful to R. John Croft, F.C.A., the artist's great-nephew, for his assistance in preparing this catalogue entry. The picture will appear in his forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the works of Dame Laura Knight.

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