No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis
This lot is subject to Collection and Storage charges
Hilda Carline belonged to a family of artists. Her father, George Carline, a portrait and landscape painter, had trained in London, Antwerp and Paris, afterwards setting up a studio in the Fulham Road. After marriage to Annie Smith (the maid of one of his sitters), he moved to North Oxford and there, in a house with a garden filled with shrubs and trees, Hilda grew up, one of five siblings. Two of her
brothers, Sydney and Richard, were to become artists and Hilda followed them to London, in order to train under Percyval Tudor-Hart in Hampstead. Here Hilda was taught that artists, like composers, could select a 'key' for a painting and change it as and when the subject demanded. She took lodgings with her brothers nearby. Three years later their parents moved to the same street, taking a semi-detached Georgian house, 47 Downshire Hill, on the corner of Keats' Grove. It was to become a meeting place for artists during the inter-war period.
The First World War had disrupted her chosen career. While Sydney and Richard Carline served the Royal Flying Corps, Hilda, joining the Land Army, had worked on a farm in Suffolk. After demobilisation, she found it difficult to settle back into London life and began to suffer from depression. However sje regained strength at the Slade School of Art where she became a part-time student. Here much emphasis was placed on the careful study of appearances. This appears to have developed in her painting a desire for exactitude which ran alongside her interest in imaginative compositions, and helped make the 1920s her most productive period. In the middle of this decade she married Stanley Spencer. They had first met in 1919 and had an extended courtship; for a time Hilda was simultaneously courted by Stanley's brother, Gilbert. After only three years of marriage, Hilda, despite the evident strength of her personality, began to feel 'hopeless and crushed' by Stanley's energy, for he could paint all day and discuss art and religion nearly all night. So although he loved her work and encouraged her, she began to lose confidence. When Spencer became physically obsessed with Patricia Preece and conceived the notion of having two wives, his marriage to Hilda fell apart. But neither divorce, nor wrangling over money, nor Hilda's mental breakdown could destroy the bond between them, and Spencer went on pouring out his thoughts to her in letters. He went on writing to Hilda even after she had died.
Interest in Hilda Carline's art has been increasing over the years and in 1999 she received a full retrospective. Her work is varied in mood and style, but running through it is a freshness of vision and a persistent artistic integrity. Her portraits have a remarkable directness and her landscapes can be subtly compelling. In particular, a gentle lyricism informs her handling of foliage and upholds her life-long love of tree-filled gardens.