Kate Loder (1825–1904), Lady Thompson, was a former student of the Royal Academy of Music, which she joined at the age of 13, becoming a King's Scholar in 1839. In 1844 she was appointed Professor of Harmony. She gained much success as a composer, also performing at the Philharmonic Society and elsewhere. Brahms' ‘Requiem’ was first performed in England at her home on 7 July 1871, when she played the accompaniments as a piano duet with Cipriani Potter. Alma-Tadema was a patient of her husband, the eminent doctor Sir Henry Thompson, who also studied painting with the artist and owned some of his works. Further family portraits are in the Fitzwilliam Museum. In this half-length portrait the sitter is depicted with a lace collar over a black dress, a red jewel or cameo around her neck, and a bob cap on her head.
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Royal Academy of Music
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More on this painting
presented by Miss G. E. G. Watkins, the sitter's granddaughter, 1945
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