While small in scale, Lady in White bears the hallmarks of the Boston School painting tradition that Thompson embraced in his figure painting. The inscription, To my friend Mrs. Perry, refers to his colleague Lilla Cabot Perry, one of the foremost figure painters and practitioners of the city’s distinctive style during the first decades of the twentieth century. Perry and Thompson were neighbors at Fenway Studios during the early teens, when she occupied studio 302 and he worked in studio 303, and they exhibited in group shows at the Guild of Boston Artists for many years. Perry also lent a painting by Thompson titled Girl Reading to his exhibition at the St. Botolph Club in April of 1921. The year Thompson gifted Lady in White to Perry remains a mystery, but the painting remained with her until her passing in 1933 and was later handled by Hirschl & Adler Galleries when they represented her estate beginning in 1968.
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During his time, Leslie “Let” Prince Thompson was one of Boston’s most well-known portrait and still life painters, as well as a respected teacher. He taught at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts from 1913 to 1930, following in the footsteps of prominent Boston artists Edmund Tarbell and Frank Benson. Born in nearby Medford, Thompson began his training at the Massachusetts Normal Art School before entering the Museum School in 1901, where he studied extensively with Ernest Lee Major and Tarbell, and was awarded the prestigious Paige Traveling Scholarship in 1904.
Gift from the artist to Lilla Cabot Perry, year unknown
Eventually to Lilla Cabot Perry’s estate when she passed in 1933
With Hirschl & Adler Galleries, representatives of her estate beginning in September 1968
To private collection, West Hartford, Connecticut, 1971
With Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 27118, July 1982
To private collection, Dayton, Ohio, October 1982 to present
(handwritten on backing in black marker) Thompson / APG 409D
(old label on board, Hirschl & Adler inventory number) APG 409D
Lady in White
by Leslie Prince Thompson (1880-1963)
19 5/8 x 9 1/2 inches
Inscribed and signed lower left (likely written years after painting completion): To my friend Mrs. Perry / Leslie P. Thompson$9,500