Powis Castle acquires Sargent charcoal portrait

  • 26 October 2010

We've helped Powis Castle in Wales buy a unique portrait by celebrated American artist John Singer Sargent (1856-1925).

Portrait of the Hon. Violet Lane Fox, Baroness Darcy de Knayth, Countess of Powis c.1910-1914, was acquired for £50,000 with the help of our £25,000 grant.

The charcoal drawing depicts Countess Violet, the wife of the 4th Earl of Powis, with her hair piled up in the fashionable bouffant style of the time, looking expectantly towards her left. A gauze scarf wrapped around her neck adds style and grandeur to her pose. Violet is drawn as a strong individual and a true Edwardian Aristocrat reflecting her independent and persuasive character.

Stephen Deuchar, our director, said: “With its intricate facial detail and lively characterisation, this striking portrait offers a glimpse into the personality of this significant Powis figure. We’re pleased to have helped National Trust secure it, so that it can be appreciated within the beautiful, historic setting of Powis Castle. We thank all our members for their support in helping us make acquisitions such as this possible.”

Portrait of the Hon. Violet Lane-Fox, Baroness Darcy de Knayth, Countess of Powis had been part of a private collection until it was bought for public display by National Trust owned Powis Castle.

The portrait now hangs in what was Countess Violet’s bedroom as the most powerful representation of twentieth-century portraiture in the castle’s impressive collection.

Violet Lane-Fox, Countess of Powis was born in 1865 and died in 1929. She was the daughter of Baron Darcy de Knayth and his wife Mary. A significant figure in the castle’s history, she was lady of the house between the years of 1890 and 1929.

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