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'Vita' (The Honourable Victoria Mary) Sackville-West (1892–1962), Later Lady Nicholson, in Ellen Terry's 1895 Costume for 'Portia' in William Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice', for the Masque at Knole, 3 July 1910

© the artist's estate. Photo credit: National Trust Images

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A three-quarter-length imaginary portrait, against a view of Florence [not Venice] in the red costume for the court scene (still at Ellen Terry's home, Smallhythe Place: National Trust no. 118837) lent to Vita for the Fancy Dress Ball at Knole on 3rd July 1910. The ball was staged in the park of Knole house in aid of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Fund and Ellen Terry performed whilst Venetia Stanley, Elizabeth Asquith and Winston Churchill also attended along with the eighteen-year-old Vita's future husband, Harold Nicolson.

National Trust, Smallhythe Place



oil on canvas


H 34 x W 24 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired with Smallhythe Place by the National Trust, 1939

Work type



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Normally on display at

National Trust, Smallhythe Place

Smallhythe, Tenterden, Kent TN30 7NG England

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