Richard Carline (1896 - 1980)

Study for Annie and Sydney Carline for Gathering on the Terrace at 47 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, 1925

SKU: 4956
Oil on canvas

Height – 62cm
Width – 46cm


The Artist’s Studio

Exhibited: The Ruskin Drawing School under Sydney Carline and his Staff, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, July 1977 (no. 26); Richard Carline, Camden Arts Centre, London, touring show, 1983

Literature: The Spencers and Carlines in the 1920s, Cookham, Berkshire, 1973; Richard Carline, Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London [n.d.] (no. 16)

Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.197.

Sydney Carline studied at the Slade school of Art, the son of the artists George Francis Carline and Annie Smith. His brother, Richard Carline and his sister Hilda were also artists, as was his sister-in-law, Nancy (née Higgins), and his brother-in-law, Stanley Spencer.  Encouraged by the artists she had met through her children and husband, Annie Carline took up painting,  producing from 1927 landscapes and figures, usually in watercolour. She exhibited with the London Group and the Artists’ International Association. The cubist painter André Lhote helped organise a solo exhibition of her work at the Galerie Pittoresque in Paris. Carline remained active as a painter until her death in 1945

In 1921, I decided to attend the Slade under Henry Tonks. About this time, I painted a large family group seated round the dining table at 47 Downshire Hill, in Hampstead. Eddie Marsh bought it for the Contemporary Art Society but, alas, it was destroyed in the Tate Gallery flood. Three years later I painted a still larger family group on the terrace at Downshire Hill with Henry Lamb and Stanley Spencer, who was soon to marry my sister Hilda’ (Richard Carline, introduction to his own exh. cat.,Anthony d’Offay Gallery, 1975).

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Richard Carline
1896 - 1980

Painter, writer and administrator, Carline was born in Oxford. His father, George Carline, his mother, Anne, and brother Sydney, his sister Hilda (Mrs Stanley Spencer) and his wife, Nancy, were all painters. Carline in 1913 attended Percyval Tudor-Hart’s Academie de Peinture, in Paris. After a short period teaching, Carline served in World War I and was appointed an Official War Artist. With his brother he became noted for war pictures from the air. He was elected LG in 1920, at which time the Carlines’ Hampstead home became a centre for artists such as Henry Lamb, John Nash and Mark Gertler. During this period Carline was clearly influenced by Stanley Spencer, transforming everyday scenes into something monumental. Carline achieved this, however, without exaggerating form or gestures to the degree that Spencer did. Between 1924 and 1929 Carline taught at the Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford. He had his first solo show at Goupil Gallery in 1931. The mid-1930s saw Carline involved in Negro art, organising a show at Adams Gallery in 1935, and contributing the main text to Arts of West Africa, edited by Michael Sadler. During World War II Carline supervised camouflage of factories and airfields. He was involved in AIA, helping to found the Hampstead Artists’ Council in 1944. In 1946-47 he was appointed as the first Art Counsellor to UNESCO, and from 1955 to 1974 was chief examiner in art for the Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate. His books include Pictures in the Post: the Story of the Picture Postcard, 1959; Draw They Must, 1968; and Stanley Spencer at War, 1978.

In 1975 the D’Offay Gallery held a Richard Carline exhibition for which the artist wrote the foreword. Carline died in Hampstead and in 1983 Camden Arts Centre organised a memorial exhibition. The Imperial War Museum holds his work, including the outstanding and pioneering series of paintings, from World War I, based on observations made from aeroplanes.

Selected Literature: The Spencers and Carlines in Hampstead in the 1920s, Stanley Spencer Gallery, Cookham, 1973. Richard Carline, D’Offay Gallery, 1975. Elizabeth Cowling, Richard Carline, Camden Arts Centre, London, 1983. The Art of Hilda Carline, Mrs Stanley Spencer, Lincolnshire County Council, 1999, pp. 15, 22 and 23.


Richard Carline (1896 - 1980)
Richard Carline (1896 - 1980)
From the Foremast in the Mid-Atlantic on the Grace Harwar, 1930
Richard Carline (1896 - 1980)
Aloft the Foremast of the Grace Harwar, 1931
Richard Carline (1896 - 1980)
Italian Alps, 1920
Richard Carline (1896 - 1980)
Family Group, 1924
Richard Carline (1896 - 1980)
In Guaira Harbour, 1930
Richard Carline (1896 - 1980)
Portrait of Gwendolen Carline
Richard Carline (1896 - 1980)
Self-portrait, 1923
Richard Carline (1896 - 1980)
Study of Richard Hartley for Gathering on the Terrace at 47 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, 1925
Richard Carline (1896 - 1980)
Richard Carline (1896 - 1980)
Life Study (at St Martins), 1923-24