A DETAILED examination of Laura Knight's 1915 oil Carnaval by Christie's specialist Tom Rooth revealed the edge of not one but two stretched canvases.
Removing 83 nails, he saw a flash of luscious, almost luminous,
green painterly brushstrokes appearing in one corner - the first
glimpse of a superbly preserved portrait of the young A.J.
Research has revealed that Alfred James Munnings Reading c.1910,
shown here, closely relates to The Sonnet, a lost work by Harold
Knight (Laura Knight's husband) exhibited at the Royal Academy in
Why it was hidden is a mystery, but theories focus on the
relationships formed when Munnings and the Knights lived in
Lamorna, Cornwall before the First World War.
Did Harold Knight's dislike of Munnings lead him to dispose of
the painting only for Laura to 'rescue' it and hide it beneath one
of her own works? Or was it covered to dampen painful memories of
the suicide of Munnings' first wife, Florence, in 1914?
Estimated at £30,000-50,000, it will be in Christie's December
16 sale of Victorian & British Impressionist Art.
Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.