Ella Naper

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Ella Louise Naper, (9 February 1886 – 1972) was an artist, jeweller and potter. She was born in Charlton, one of the nine children of Alfred Champion, a fireman, and Mary Ann Champion. She attended the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts from 1904-06. There, under the jeweller, Frederick James Partridge she learned a wide range of techniques for working in metal, wood and enamell. In 1906 she went to Branscombe, Devon where Partridge rented some cottages for his students. There she met the architect and painter Charles Naper whom she married in 1910.[1] The couple spent two years in Looe, Cornwall before making their permanent home at Trewoofe in Lamorna.[2]

Ella Naper worked from home producing decorative enamal and horn work jewellery.[1] Naper sold much of her work through events such as 'Arts and Crafts Exhibition', 'Woman's Art Exhibition', Liberty's in London and, after 1924, Newlyn Art Gallery craft exhibitions. During the First World War, Ella Naper and Laura Knight collaborated on the design of several pieces of painted jewellery and enamel plaques,[3] including Two Dancers (1912).[4] In 1915, Naper and Knight exhibited several of these pieces in a joint exhibition, with Lamorna Birch, held at the London Fine Art Society.[5] Naper received commissions for mayoral chains and war memorials, including one in Exeter Cathedral and also designed the memorial to the artist Benjamin Leader in St Buryan's Church.[1] After 1919 Naper, together with Kate Westrup and Emily Westrup, ran the Lamorna Pottery, which continued in production until 1935.[2]

Ella Naper was the subject of several paintings by other artists living in Lamorna, including Charles Naper, Ruth Simpson and Harold Knight. She is one of the models in Harold Harvey's painting The Critics (1922) and was also painted by, and produced some work with, Gluck.[6] Naper features in several works by Laura Knight,[2] including Spring (1916-1920)[7] and is the model Knight is seen painting in Self Portrait (1913).[8]

Further reading[edit]

  • Ella & Charles Naper and the Lamorna Artists by John Branfield,(Sansom & Co.)
  • Laura Knight - Representations of Women by Helen Hoyle, September 2010, Women Artists in Cornwall blog.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Caroline Fox (1985). Painting in Newlyn 1900-1930. Newlyn Orion. 
  2. ^ a b c "Ella Naper". cornwell artists index. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Official Dame Laura Knight Website: Biography". Retrieved 15 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Two Dancers". BBC/Public Catalogue Foundation. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  5. ^ Rosie Broadley (2013). Laura Knight Portraits. National Portrait Gallery,London. ISBN 978-1-85514-463-7. 
  6. ^ "Gluck". cornwell artists index. Retrieved 5 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "Catalogue entry for Spring (1916-1920)". Tate. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Tessa Hadley (6 July 2013). "Laura Knight:The unashamed illustrator". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Helen Hoyle (17 September 2010). "Laura Knight - Representations of Women". Women Artists in Cornwall. Retrieved 8 August 2013.