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Hilda Anne Carline (1889–1950) was a British painter, daughter of the artist George Francis Carline, and first wife of the artist Stanley Spencer. She studied art under the Post-Impressionist Percyval Tudor-Hart, with her brothers Sydney and Richard, and then at the Slade School of Art under Henry Tonks. She had a promising early start with her works being shown at the London Group, Royal Academy and New English Art Club.
In 1925 she married fellow artist Stanley Spencer with whom she had what has been described as "the most bizarre domestic soap opera in the history of British art." During the time that Carline lived with Spencer she rarely painted and it was not until they separated that she began painting more frequently. Carline's physical and mental health was poor starting several years after her divorce and after 1937 she lived with family members. Spencer became obsessed with his ex-wife with whom he corresponded and painted. In her later years she made religious works with pastels. She died in 1950, having struggled for several years with breast cancer. A touring exhibition of her works, The Art of Hilda Spencer: Mrs. Stanley Spencer, was held in 1999.
"Here is my own quick biographical sketch: Annie Hilda Carline was born in London to a long-established family of artists. The only girl in the family, her father declined to have her professionally trained as an artist alongside her brothers, despite her obvious natural talent. Eventually he relented slightly and in 1913 permitted her to attend a small, local, art school, Percyval Tudor-Hart's Academie de Peinture, in Hampstead. This course of study was interrupted by World War 1. During the war Carline worked in the Women's Land Army in Suffolk. After the war, enabled in part by a program similar to the American G.I bill, which assists veterans with their education, she entered the ... [More at