Oil on canvas 20 x 16 inches.
Exhibition history: This picture has never been exhibited.
This painting has been erroneously been referred to as Mrs Johnson.
The portrait is that of Laura’s grandmother – Mrs Charlotte Bates ( nee Thir) who was described in Laura’s autobiography as “ an imposing figure with a gentle expression in her bright blue eyes. She always wore a white lace cap half covering her satiny white hair twisted in loops over the ears and drawn into knob at the back, like Queen Victoria’s”.
Mrs Bates was called Big Grandma by Laura and her family. The picture does not portray her hair twisted in loops over the ears, but then either the sitter had a different hair style at the particular time or Harold took a little poetic licence to better portray his future grandmother – in law!
“Big Grandma …..I can see her now……..looking splendid as a duchess in her best moiré silk dress, her white lace cap and her real Brussels collar” MOAL p. 32
© Reproduced with permission of The Estate Dame Laura Knight DBE RA 2020 All Rights Reserved