Laura Knight, R.A., R.W.S.

British Women Artists

An interview with Karen Taylor by The Open Art Fair.

Karen Taylor, specialist in British art of all periods, primarily works on paper, has always had an interest in women artists. Karen started her career in Sotheby's British Drawings department, and witnessed the disparity between the number of women and men artists in the watercolours catalogued.

Read the full interview at The Open Art Fair website.

L. Knight. Branch. KT-07

Laura Knight, R.A., R.W.S. (1877-1970)
Study of the branch of a tree

Gainsborough, Wooded landscape with track and pool

MDNY 2021

In January 2021 we exhibited in New York for the first time participating in Master Drawings New York.

Landscape painting has long held a marked appeal for the English and this selection of twenty-five works on paper from the 18th and 19th centuries for Master Drawings New York 2021 examines the world of the imagination of British artists influenced by the picturesque movement and the progression into the romanticism of the 19th century.

Thomas Gainsborough famously wrote in a letter to a friend that ‘I'm sick of Portraits and wish very much to take my Viol da Gamba and walk off to some sweet Village where I can paint Landskips and enjoy the fag End of Life in quietness and ease’. A highlight is a black chalk drawing of a wooded landscape with track and pool dating for the mid 1780s. The exhibition also includes two rich and fluently painted oil sketches by his nephew and studio assistant Gainsborough Dupont, his nephew and studio assistant who shared his love of landscape.

The Lake District was one of the first areas in Britain to attract picturesque tourists and the exhibition has four works by Francis Nicholson, John Laporte and the Ruskin pupil Maggie Sumner, whose newly discovered sketchbook comes straight from her family and reveals the prodigious talent highly praised by her master. This group charts the progression from the picturesque movement to the Pre-Raphaelite landscape.

British artists travelled further afield in 19th century search of new subjects and filtered their new experiences through the prism of their artistic imagination. Highlights include three drawings by Edward Lear of Italy, a delicate David Roberts of Jerusalem lithographed by Louis Haghe for The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Egypt and Nubia, London 1842 and two William Callows of Venice and Padua. The influence of Italy was crucial to so many artists of this period.

The exhibition includes representative works by celebrated practitioners of the British watercolour tradition also including Paul Sandby, John White Abbott, Thomas Rowlandson, David Cox and Samuel Jackson, ‘The Father of the Bristol School’.

Link to exhibition

Gainsborough, Wooded landscape with track and pool

Thomas Gainsborough, R.A. (1727-1788)
Wooded landscape with track and pool

Box of Delights

We had a successful online exhibition in December 2020 and were delighted with the results. We were so pleased that our regular customers, and some new ones, felt confident enough to buy drawings from us without seeing them first.

We now offer a 14 days returns policy for any work bought sight unseen from us.

PC Trench
PC Trench, A dancing party, Ghazepoor, India
Augusta Raymond-Barker

The Fairford Park circle of women artists

The Fairford Park circle of women artists is the subject of a new article by Karen published on the London Art Week site for the winter edition (27 November – 11 December).

You can read it here. 

Augusta Raymond-Barker
Augusta Raymond-Barker (1827-1900) The Library, Fairford Park, Gloucestershire
Lady Diana Beauclerk - the Infant Pan

The Infant Pan in Country Life

Lady Diana Beauclerk’s drawing of the Infant Pan was selected by Huon Mallalieu of ‘Country Life’ in his weekly column on the art market. He reviewed our exhibition of the work of British women artists, in which the drawing is included, with his customary erudition.

Lady Di, as she was known, was the eldest daughter of Charles Spencer, 2nd Duke of Marlborough and grew up at Blenheim Palace. She was a colourful character whose marriages to a drunk and an addict were problematic. As Huon noted in his piece, she was luckier with her friends, and Horace Walpole was a great admirer who built a room at his home Strawberry Hill in Twickenham to house her work.

Lady Diana was well known for her charming drawings of children, cupids and bacchantes, some of which were engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi and thus widely distributed. She produced designs for Wedgwood wares from wine coolers to marble clocks, painted murals and illustrated books.

Lady Diana Beauclerk - the Infant Pan
Alice Mary Chambers

London Art Week Digital 2020

We were pleased to return to LAW again this July, although it was a virtual event. We much missed meeting up with customers, collectors and curators and the usual buzz of the London summer.

Karen was pleased to participate in an online webinar about women artists, whose work she has championed for many years. Here is a link to the discussion, organised by the London Art Week team.

She was also delighted at the response to our new catalogue on this theme.

Alice Mary Chambers
Chinese Artist of the Straits School

Masterpiece Fair 2020

We were delighted to participate in the Masterpiece Fair in Chelsea for the first time this summer. Although it was a digital event, rather different from the tent in the grounds of the Royal Hospital, it was a rewarding experience with a number of virtual panel discussions and online conversations with collectors.

We made this film about a pair of beautiful botanical works from Malacca which have now been sold.

Chinese Artist of the Straits School
Mary Anne St Quintin portrait

We had planned to attend the Petworth Park Fair for the first time this May, but it has been postponed. Country Life kindly selected our portrait of Mary Anne St Quintin as their pick of the week.


Country Life article

Karen Taylor Fine Art Stand

The Open Art Fair 2020

Karen Taylor Fine Art Stand

The Open Art Fair closed early, overtaken by events.

A virtual tour of the fair is available here.

Our stand was A2 – turn left at the entrance.

You can also view full details of the works from the Open Art Fair here.