Winifred Knights (1899-1947):
Portrait study for a guest at the Marriage of Cana, circa 1923
Framed (ref: 8476)
3 x 3 in. (7.7 x 7.7 cm)
Provenance: The Artists Family
“ My picture will be very beautiful. I have drawn 11 plates of melon, pink melon, 9 glasses of wine some empty, partly because they have run out, and 38 people”. (Letter from Knights to her mother, 24 August 1922)
Knights sets the Biblical Narrative in the Villa Borghese Gardens, situated below the British School at Rome. Her interpretation of the story in the manner of a realistic feast was inspired by the lunches and dinners hosted at the British School. Choosing to depict a moment in the feast when the wine is running low, Knights provides the guests with slices of watermelon, reflecting the local culinary tradition of serving fruit after the desert course. Knights appears among the guests, seated at each of the three tables. She has also included Arnold Mason and three fellow Rome Scholars, Alfred Hardiman, Lilian Whitehead and Thomas Monnington (her future husband).