Thomas Monnington, Portrait of Winifred Knights, c.1931 – £45,000.

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It is part of Drawing in Britain 1890-1990, organised by Liss Llewellyn at Sotheran’s. Running until October 28, this takes place alongside Drawing 1990-2022, which is held until October 29 at Purdy Hicks Gallery.

The Slade School, where Knights and Monnington met, is at the heart of the first show. It dominated the landscape of British drawing, with its rigorous process underpinning many of the works in the exhibition.

The portrait, completed in tempera over pen and ink, dates to the 1930s when Knights and her husband had returned to England from the British School in Rome. At the time, Monnington was working on an altarpiece depicting the Supper at Emmaus, and this picture is sympathetic both to the religious scene and the work of the Italian Old Masters. It is offered for £45,000 and is one of several works by Monnington in the show.

Also represented at Sotheran’s are Knights herself, Evelyn Dunbar, Gilbert Spencer, Anne Newland and David Evans.

Many works make reference to nature, the mundane and daily life. There are also several portraits and evidence of various artists working with religious themes.

Drawings 1990-2022 demonstrates the subsequent discarding of ideas of ‘Britishness’ with London as an international centre.