The Porch at No.9 Carlton House Terrace, 5.30 am, 2 June 1953

Dame Laura Knight (1877 - 1970)

Charcoal on paper

2 June 1953

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© Crown copyright, UK Government Art Collection

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  • About the work
    Country: France
    City: Paris
    Place: British Embassy

    Laura Knight was one of several British artists who was commissioned by the then Ministry of Works to record in drawings, paintings and watercolours, the Coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. The Porch at No.9 Carlton House Terrace, 5.30 am, 2 June 1953 is one of several drawings by Knight which charted the activities before the progress of the royal procession along the Coronation route. Sketched rapidly from life, Knight’s drawings captured anecdotal, everyday scenes including this glimpse of two figures sleeping out on the pavement in the early hours of the historic day. She also captured the pomp and ceremony of the spectacle itself, as seen in To the Abbey, 2 June 1953, another drawing in the Government Art Collection.


    In 1948, the future Queen posed for Knight’s painting, Princess Elizabeth Opening the New Broadgate, Coventry. This work which is today in the collection of the Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry,  commemorated the newly rebuilt ruins of the post-war city. Knight recorded her visits to Buckingham Palace for the sittings in her 1965 autobiography, The Magic Line.

  • About the artist
    Laura Knight was born in Long Eaton, Derbyshire and grew up in Nottingham, where she was encouraged by her mother to draw and paint. Aged 13, she attended Nottingham School of Art where she later met her future husband, the painter Harold Knight. She was drawn to the outdoor life and artistic colonies of Staithes in Yorkshire and, notably, Newlyn in Cornwall, where she became an integral figure of the artistic colony, the Newlyn School, between 1907 and 1918. After the First World War, Knight returned to London where she exhibited work frequently. In 1928 she became a member of the Royal Academy and in the following year she was made a Dame of the British Empire.
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  • Details
    The Porch at No.9 Carlton House Terrace, 5.30 am, 2 June 1953
    2 June 1953
    Charcoal on paper
    height: 28.80 cm, width: 39.60 cm
    Commissioned from the artist, April 1953
    bl: Laura Knight
    GAC number