Despite the painting I managed to read a few articles this weekend, two of which really depressed me. The first is a quote from an article in Issue 12 of Tate etc (the magazine for Tate members)
Rose Hilton was married to Roger Hilton a very talented and successful painter from my favourite seaside town, St Ives. She says "When Roger and I got together I did a lot less painting. The reason for this was that Roger had said "If you are going to be with me , then I'm going to be the painter" I guess she should be grateful that he was so upfront! The second depressing article comes from London Orbital which found records from various Victorian asylums detailing some of the unbelievably cruel reasons for incarcerating women in the 19th Century, one woman was certified insane by her husband for "trying to publish a book of poetry" The shocking ease with which men were able to rid themselves of any woman with spirit or a personality was brilliantly written about in a book by Maggie O'Farrell The vanishing act of Esme Lennox http://www.maggieofarrell.com/
But back to Rose Hilton, her comment could apply to so many female artists who appear to end up playing second fiddle to the man. Lee Krasner, Dora Maar, Francoise Gilot, Frida Khalo, Gwen John, Dora Carrington to name but a few. Many gained greater recognition later in life, but you wonder how much living in the shadow of their partner hampered their ability to flourish. The good news appears to be that If you can outlive or leave the the man that hamstrings your creative out pourings, then you too can flourish like Rose Hilton. Interestingly her work appears to owe far more to Patrick Heron than Roger Hilton.