George Carline

The Gleaners


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Not on display
George Carline 1855–1920
Gouache on paper
Support: 289 x 565 mm
Presented by Richard Carline 1978

Catalogue entry

T02262 THE GLEANERS 1887

Inscribed ‘Geo. Carline./1887’ b.l.
Gouache on paper, 11 3/8 × 22 1/4 (28.8 × 56.4)
Presented by Richard Carline 1978
Prov: Dr. Russell, Lincoln (bought 1888); his daughter, by whom given to Richard Carline 1970

The setting of ‘The Gleaners’ has not been identified. The artist's son, Richard Carline wrote (letter, 14 November 1979) that George Carline 'did not have a country house of his own. He seems to have rented lodgings in a farm house or other. I find he was at Stapleford in Wiltshire in 1886 and stayed on until November... He may have returned there the next summer.

‘It seems to me that the figures may have been based on studies of my mother. She often posed for him - in fact for a great many of his paintings as well as his book illustrations that involved a young woman. The figure standing back view in the centre is wearing a straw hat very like one that appears in other pictures of her and the one on the extreme right side view is wearing a bonnet... I have an oil sketch of her wearing a green bonnet (which I still possess in our chest of costumes acquired by my father)’. The bonnet of this extreme right hand figure is green. Richard Carline added that although his father took up photography around 1887 and did sometimes use photographs as sources for the backgrounds of paintings, he doubted whether he used them for this purpose as early as 1887, and he could find no photographs related to ‘The Gleaners’.

In 1981 Mrs Richard Carline presented to the Tate two impressions of each of two etchings by George Carline of the same composition as ‘The Gleaners’. The date of these is not known, but Richard Carline wrote in the letter already quoted that his father sold examples in 1888 and 1889. Both etchings conform in close detail to the imagery of the gouache, with the exception that the position of the child with its back to the viewer who is third from the left in the gouache has been moved sideways so as to stand clear from the figure which it had there slightly obscured. In both etchings, the composition of the gouache is reversed.

One etching, plate size 127 × 254 mm, employs a noticeably coarser and more simplified kind of mark than the other. The Tate's two impressions of this etching are of the same (the only?) state, but on one of them, below the plate, the artist has added in pencil variations of details of some of the figures. The plate size of the more finely-detailed etching is 128 × 258 mm; the Tate's impressions are of two states, of which (though none of the four prints is inscribed) the closeness of the more complete to the gouache suggests that it may be the final version of this etching.

T02262 is in a gilded frame designed by the artist with ears of wheat in relief on three sides.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1978-80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981

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