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The Art of JAMA
December 4, 2013

The Tiff: Florence Carlyle

JAMA. 2013;310(21):2228-2229. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.5444

We’ve all been there. The cautious hope for a new beginning with a new someone. Or the uneasy sense of things unraveling in a relationship. For Canadian painter Florence Carlyle (1864-1923), it was with an intuitive warmth and perceptiveness that she conveyed the emotional life of women in scenarios such as courtship and contemplation of marriage, or even the more subtle excitement of day-to-day domesticity.

Carlyle had extraordinary parents: father William was nephew to 19th-century historian and philosopher Thomas Carlyle, and mother Emily had been a women’s college principal. Florence spent much of her childhood in Woodstock, Ontario, where her father held the position of county school inspector. Evenings involved Father reading to the children, holding forth about works of Shakespeare and other greats, including those of great-uncle Thomas Carlyle.