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Sacha Llewellyn, an independent researcher, curator and co-founder of dealership Liss Llewelyn Fine Art, wrote the book which was published by Lund Humphries in May 2016 in association with The Dulwich Picture Gallery. Winifred Knights: 1899-1947 brings together a selection of previously unpublished material including letters, diaries, sketchbooks and photographs.

Its release coincided with the first major exhibition of Knights’ work at Dulwich Picture Gallery, which Llewellyn also curated.

Marriage at Cana
Winifred Knights’ The Marriage at Cana (1923) in the Collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

The publication provides the first full account of Knights’ life and work. She rose to critical acclaim during the four years she attended the Slade School and was the first British woman to win the Rome Scholarship in decorative painting. Her large work The Deluge (1920) is in the Tate collection. However, she fell out of the public eye in the 1930s as she struggled with commissions, mental health, personal tragedy and the outbreak of war.

Winifred Knights was a promising artist in her youth but her works had fallen out of the public eye until a new book on her life and work was published last year. Photo courtesy of the Estate of Winifred Knights.

“There could not be a better example of how to re-establish a reputation that urgently needed it,” the judges of the Berger Prize in a statement about Llewelyn’s work, adding that it is “a triumph of rehabilitation that will open up a whole group of neglected artists for future study”.

Christopher Le Brun, president of the Royal Academy of Arts, presented the prize at a reception in London on November 30.