Securing the future of ‘A Game of Bowls’ at Ightham Mote

‘A Game of Bowls’ is a one-off experimental oil painting that captures a view of Ightham Mote as it is today. Painted in a modernist French style, it is considered a move away from John Singer Sargent’s usual style. He visited the house in the late 1880s and produced sketches that were used in the painting of 'A Game of Bowls'.

Sargent has created a sense of mystery about the characters. Without the title, we would not know what they were doing, allowing our imaginations to take over. The people playing bowls are General Palmer’s wife and daughter, and their guests, including costumer designer, Alice Comyns Carr, architect Fredrick Jameson and his wife and Sargent’s sister, Violet Sargent.

A Game of Bowls, Ightham Mote, Kent, by John Singer Sargent, 1889
A Game of Bowls, Ightham Mote, Kent, by John Singer Sargent, 1889
National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty
Ightham Mote, Mote Road, Ivy Hatch, Kent, TN15 0NT
South West
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Anglo-Saxon treasure and Bloomsbury Group dinner service among four ‘at risk’ heritage treasures saved for the nation

The Arts Minister Michael Ellis has announced over £1million joint investment by both National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and the Art Fund. Norfolk Museums, the National Trust, Charleston Trust and the V&A all acquire heritage of international significance.