This publication was created by the City of Bradford Corporation Art Gallery, and the introduction, (as shown in the text below) was written by Butler Wood.
JOHN BUXTON KNIGHT was born at Sevenoaks, in Kent, in th eyear 1843, and died in January 1908. As in the case of many other artists, his merits as a painter have become more fully recognised after his death than they were during his life-time. It is, however, to the lasting credit of the men in this part of the country that his earliest and most steadfast patrons resided in our own neighbourhood. Thirty years ago his worth was recognised by a number of Bradford men who were at that time collecting works of art with rare discrimination, and from that period to the time of his death BUXTON KNIGHT was a frequent and welcome visitor to the city. As a result of this sympathetic appreciation of his work, it is not surprising that a great number of his importnant pictures are to be found in this district than in any other part of England.
BUXTON KNIGHT's art is characterised by a robust and vigorous presentment of nature, as might be expected from a man of his strong individuality. He chose his own path in the world of art, and at times his contempt for traditional convention led him astray, but in spite of this, he has achieved a high position amongst the great exponents of English landscape, and has produced work which Contable and Crome would have been the first to recognise.
Having had the privlege of a thirty years' friendship with BUXTON KNIGHT, I had many opportunities of judging of his personal character. Its dominant notes were simplicity, modesty, and cheerfulness. The later quality never deserted him, indeed the most adverse circumstances, and he had to contend with many, instead of depressing him always had the contrary effect. This characteristic was so pronounced that he might well have sat to Dickens for the portrait of the immortal Mark Tapley.
The present colection is exhibited by permission of his Executors. It contains many examples which have never been shown before, especially those in pastel and water-colour, and on this account should prove interesting to the ever-increasing circle of those who appreciate his art. Attention is particularly drawn to the fact that the collection is practically a conspectus of BUXTON KNIGHT's life work, inasmuch as it includes examples painted at various periods of his artistic career.