Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970) was born in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, UK. In 1908 Knight settled in Newlyn with her husband, the painter Harold Knight. They had met when they were both studying at the Nottingham school of art. Laura Knight became a key member of the St Ives School of painters.
As a painter, Knight worked in oils and watercolours, but she also worked produced etchings, engravings and drypoints. Knight had an interest in the theatre and circus as subjects. She spent time in London, visiting the theatres and circuses, and documenting the life both on stage and behind the scenes. These themes had been explored by a number of her high-profile predecessors, partly the French Impressionists. According to Rosie Broadley in her 2013 book for the National Gallery, Laura Knight Portraits, it was her success in the male-dominated British art establishment paved the way for greater recognition for women artists.