’Two nights ago, I stood and listened to a nightingale singing in a garden nearby it was delicious, quite near me in a tree overhead. I could have stayed for hours. Oh this is a wonderful place, I went to Lake Nomi again the fields are one mass of purple orchids and white Narcissi & pink cyclamen, & blue anemones. I never saw such wild flowers.’ (Letter from Winifred Knights to her mother, The British School, Valle Giulia, Sunday 17th April 1921.) This study, painted en plein air whilst Knights was in Italy, shows a bee orchid, possibly Ophrys Bertolonii, commonly known as Bertoloni’s Bee Orchid.
Knights drew flowers throughout her life. Her last last major painting, which was never completed, The Flight into Egypt, was set along a bank of bluebells and narcissi.