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Kent: Last few months to catch John Singer Sargent painting A Young Lady in White at Ightham Mote, National Trust

By Angela Cole

A coveted painting which returned to the place it was painted last year, is to stay on a little longer so more visitors can see it.

John Singer Sargent's A Young Lady in White (Elsie Palmer) came on loan to Ightham Mote near Borough Green from the Fine Arts Centre in Colorado Springs last year.

Elsie was the daughter of General Jackson Palmer, a famous American railroad engineer and founder of Colorado Springs, and his wife Queen Palmer.

Elsie Palmer (A Young Lady in White) painted by John Singer Sargent is at Ightham Mote for a little longer
Elsie Palmer (A Young Lady in White) painted by John Singer Sargent is at Ightham Mote for a little longer

Her portrait was painted while the family were renting Ightham Mote in the late nineteenth century, in the Mote’s tower corridor against the backdrop of the distinctive linenfold panelling, which remains on the walls today.

The portrait will be the focal point of the house's exhibition: “The Queen of Ightham – An American Interlude: Queen Palmer, John Singer Sargent and their Circle”.

The exhibition explores Queen Palmer’s time at Ightham Mote between 1887 and 1890, when it became an intellectual hub for the elite of the Aesthetic Movement.

Ightham Mote in the snow this week
Ightham Mote in the snow this week

An exemplary hostess, Queen welcomed some of the most prestigious figures of the day to the manor house, including John Singer Sargent, actress Ellen Terry and author Henry James.
John Singer Sargent was an American-born artist, and considered the leading portrait painter of his generation, known for his portrayals of society figures.

A Young Lady in White, Elsie Palmer, will be at Ightham Mote until Saturday, June 30. For details go to nationaltrust.org.uk/ightham-mote

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