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Dame Laura Knight

1877 - 1970

Pas de Deux by Laura Knight

Pas de Deux   1924/25

Signed in pencil.
Ref: Bolling & Withington ‘M’
S 529 x 695 mm; I 488 x 651 mm
Exceptionally rare, only one other impression of this print is known or recorded worldwide. The roller which has been used to apply the ink to this lithograph has created a regular pattern across the surface. Artist’s proof impression amended by hand with scraping out. Laura Knight has worked on this particular proof impression to remove the large black mark found just above the hand of the ballerina, where she clasps, where her hand meets that of the male ballet dancer towards the right of the image. A large obtrusive black mark can be found in the illustration of the only other known impression of this print on page 25 of the catalogue raisonee. In this unique working proof Laura Knight has scraped away that black object, leaving the hand and wrist of the two dancers, clear to stand out against the light background. It is an undoubted improvement to the composition. The end result is a striking large-scale lithograph.

Bolling & Withington state “To our knowledge this lithograph is almost an ‘unknown piece’ and has not been mentioned or described except at the auction where it was sold a few years ago. It is, however, in the collection of the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art in Dublin. The image, when seen at [life] size, is impressive, demonstrating all the right techniques attributable to an accomplished artist-lithographer.” (The Graphic Work of Laura Knight, Scolar Press, 1993, p.25).

Despite their efforts at unearthing every detail, Bolling & Withington state that they were unsuccessful in finding much information on the lithographs, linocuts and woodcuts of Laura Knight when preparing their catalogue raisonee of her printed works “because we were unable to find anything”!! Pas de Deux is the largest of four lithographs by Laura Knight which Bolling & Withington date to around 1924/25, the only known examples being printed on what they describe as ‘newsprint quality paper’. This hand-amended proof impression is printed on a heavy wove sheet

On thick wove paper, with margins. Very fine condition.