NARRATOR: Curator Alison Smith. ALISON SMITH: This work ‘Carnation Lily Lily Rose’ is by John Singer Sargent, and the artist on one level is drawing your attention to the young girls in the painting who are using tapers to light the Chinese lanterns. He is drawing your attention to their innocence, their youth and the lilies, which are traditionally a sign of purity. Yet at the same time, the lanterns aflame suggests ephemerality, that youth is ephemeral, life flames briefly and then it’s extinguished. Theses colours will seem very sort of bright and startling to London audiences in the mid 1880’s and as much as this painting was praised it was also criticised for showing foreign influence. NARRATOR: Sargent was strongly influenced by the French Impressionists. Born in America, he spent several years in Paris before settling in England in 1885. He began this picture the following year. Like the Impressionists before him, he painted the canvas out of doors, painting directly from the motif. His aim, as we can see here, was to capture the muted effects of the dusk light in the most immediate and accurate way possible.