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Laura Knight portraitDame Laura Knight, born 1877, was one of the leading women artists of the 20th century. Her success in the overtly male-dominated British art establishment was unprecedented – she was the first to be made a Dame, in 1929, and by 1936 had become the first woman elected RA since its foundation in 1768 – and her celebrated career foretold greater freedom and recognition amongst future women artists.

Knight was well known for her depictions of underprivileged subjects. Her paintings of circus workers, gypsies and young black women and children were well ahead of her time: in 1913 she was the first woman to paint a self-portrait with a nude model. She is best known for her work as an Official War Artist in WWII, most famously her painting of the Nuremberg trials of 1946.
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