Mason, Arnold

(1885 – 1963)

Portrait of Winifred Knights Sleeping, c.1920


SKU: 102

Pencil on paper

Height: 28cm
Width: 39cm

1 in stock


Winifred Knights’ own collection; John Monnington, the artist’s son; David Thomson 2004.

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.175.

Exhibited: possibly Jane, pencil drawing, Royal Academy, 1920 (1098)

In 1918, Arnold Mason enrolled at the Slade where he became a good
friend of Knights. Knights was staying with Mason at his studio The Old
Mill, Ludlow, in September 1920, when she received news that she had won
the Rome Scholarship. Prior to leaving for Rome, Mason and Knights
became engaged (see photo). Although in 1924 Knights married fellow Rome
Scholar Tom Monnington, the friendship with Mason lasted throughout
their lives. In 1947 Mason exhibited a posthumous portrait at the Royal
Academy, The Late Winifred Knights, (350). This outstanding pencil
portrait by Mason was one which Knights retained throughout her life. A
slightly earlier portrait of Knights by Mason is in the Queen’s
Collection (Royal Library Windsor, 23047).

Arnold Mason, Portrait of Winifred Knights

(Royal Collection), 1919

Winifred Knights, photographed by David Evans

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Mason, Arnold

1885 – 1963

Landscape and portrait painter, born at Birkenhead, Cheshire. He studied at the Royal College of Art and the Slade, and also in Paris and Rome. He helped Sir William Richmond with decorations at the Old Bailey, London, 1906-8. He served in the Artists’ Rifles, 1915-1918. He exhibited at the RA from 1919, being elected RA in 1951. He also showed at NEAC, RP, Leicester Galleries, Goupil Gallery and ROI. Examples of his work are in the collections of the Tate Gallery, Manchester City Art Gallery and Wakefield City Art Gallery.

Mason earned his living mostly by painting portraits, much in the style of Augustus John, with whom he shared a studio. He was engaged to fellow Slade artist Winifred Knights and produced a number of remarkable portraits of her.


Arnold Mason
Portrait of Winifred Knights Sleeping, c.1920