About this artwork

Born in Wales, Robert Owen began work in a draper's shop at the age of ten. At nineteen he was the manager of a large textile factory. In 1799 he bought his father-in-law's cotton-mills in New Lanark on the banks of the river Clyde. For his workers, Owen built a school, a village store and opened the world's first day nursery, making the community a model of social reform. New Lanark is now a World Heritage Site. Although extremely delicate, this drawing communicates the sharp intellect and foresight of an exceptional man.

Mary Ann Knight

Mary Ann Knight

The daughter of a wealthy London merchant, Knight trained with Andrew Plimer, who subsequently married her sister. Knight's surviving notebooks record some 696 miniatures which she painted between 1802 and 35 and sold at two to forty guineas each. She was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy and her sketchbooks reveal an impressive range of sitters. She worked mainly in watercolour, although oil paintings by her are also known.