Joan Carlile

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Joan Carlile
The Carlile Family by Joan Carlile (cropped).jpg
A self-portrait of Carlile and her family from a larger work, The Carlile Family with Sir Justinian Isham in Richmond Park[1]
Joan Palmer[2]

c. 1606
Resting placeChurchyard of Petersham Parish Church
Known forPortrait painting
SpouseLodowick Carlell or Carlile

Joan Carlile or Carlell or Carliell[4] (c. 1606–1679),[2] was an English portrait painter. She was one of the first British women known to practise painting professionally.[5][6][7] Before Carlile, known professional female painters working in Britain were born elsewhere in Europe, principally the Low Countries.


Joan Carlile[n 1] was born as Joan Palmer, the daughter of William Palmer, an official in the Royal Parks[8] and his wife, Mary.[2] Carlile copied the works of Italian masters and reproduced them in miniature.[8] She was also an accomplished painter in her own right.

In July 1626[4] she married Lodowick Carlell or Carlile, Gentleman of the Bows to Charles I and a poet and dramatist,[8] who, as keeper/deputy ranger at Richmond Park during the Commonwealth period, had accommodation at Petersham Lodge,[9] where they lived from 1637 to 1663.[10][n 2] The couple moved to Covent Garden in 1654[6] but returned to Petersham two years later[2] after the restoration of the monarchy, when Lodowick was given the post of "Keeper of the house or Lodge and the Walk at Petersham". They returned to London in 1665.[6]

Lodowick died in 1675 and was buried in the churchyard of Petersham Parish Church[6] (which was then in Surrey and is now in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames). Joan, who was then living in the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields,[4] died in 1679, and was buried beside her husband on 27 February.[2][4]

They had three children, Penelope (who married John Fisher, a lawyer of the Middle Temple in 1657),[10] James (who was married to Ellen; they had two sons, James and Lodowick)[4] and Edmund.[10]


Carlile's portrait Lady Dorothy Browne and Sir Thomas Browne is held at London's National Portrait Gallery.[11] The National Portrait Gallery's portrait of Sir Thomas Browne is also attributed to her.

In 2016, the Tate acquired Carlile's Portrait of an Unknown Lady which she painted between 1650 and 1655.[12][13][14]

A painting from circa 1648[15] of Elizabeth Murray, Countess of Dysart with her husband and sister has been attributed to Carlile and is held by the National Trust. It is on display at Ham House.[15][16] Another painting of the Countess of Dysart, attributed to Carlile, is held by the Thirlestane Castle Trust.[17]

The Carlile Family with Sir Justinian Isham in Richmond Park is held at Lamport Hall in Lamport, Northamptonshire.[18] Also known as A Stag Hunt,[8] The Stag Hunt,[19] or Stag hunt in Richmond Park,[20] it was exhibited at the Tate Gallery in 1972.[8]

Her full-length portrait of a lady, believed be Lady Anne Wentworth, in a white dress and a purple mantle, is in a private collection.[3]

A miniature portrait, attributed to Carlile, described as A Lady, Wearing White Dress With Brooch At Her Corsage..., was auctioned by Sotheby's in London in 2005.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ According to historian Stephen Pasmore, "In 1760 in an essay on painting Bainbrigg Buckeridge wrongly referred to Mrs. Carlile's Christian name as Anne and later writers have continued the mistake."
    Stephen Pasmore (May 1983). "Old Petersham Lodge: A Royalist Refuge after the Civil War". Richmond History: The Journal of Richmond History Society. 4: 18.
  2. ^ Petersham Lodge, now referred to by historians as "Old Petersham Lodge", was demolished in the 1690s by Lawrence Hyde, Earl of Rochester.
    "Lost buildings in Richmond Park: the Prime Minister's school and a magnificent mansion". The Collection. The Hearsum Collection. 29 June 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2020.


  1. ^ Toynbee, Margaret; Isham, Gyles (1954). "Joan Carlile (1606?-1679) - An Identification". The Burlington Magazine. 96 (618): 275–274. ISSN 0007-6287. JSTOR 871403.
  2. ^ a b c d e Arianne Burnette (2010). "Joan Carlile". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 3 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Lot 303: Joan Carlisle (London? c. 1606–1679 Petersham)". Important Old Master Paintings by Christie's. Invaluable. 26 January 2005. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e Charles H Gray (1905). "Lodowick Carliell; his life, a discussion of his plays, and The deserving favourite, a tragi-comedy reprinted from the original edition of 1629". University of Chicago Press. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  5. ^ Jane Eade (2018). "Rediscovering the "Worthy artiste Mrs Carlile"". The National Trust Historic Houses & Collections Annual in Association with Apollo: 19–24.
  6. ^ a b c d Margaret Toynbee and Gyles Isham (September 1954). "Joan Carlile (1606?–1679): An Identification". The Burlington Magazine. 96 (618): 275–277. JSTOR 871403.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  7. ^ Great Women Artists. Phaidon Press. 2019. p. 87. ISBN 978-0714878775.
  8. ^ a b c d e Cathy Hartley (2004). A Historical Dictionary of British Women. Taylor & Francis. p. 166. ISBN 978-020340390-7. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  9. ^ David McDowall (1996). Richmond Park: The Walker's Historical Guide. p. 47. ISBN 978-0952784708. OCLC 36123245. OL 8477606M.
  10. ^ a b c Stephen Pasmore (May 1983). "Old Petersham Lodge: A Royalist Refuge after the Civil War". Richmond History: The Journal of Richmond History Society. 4: 17.
  11. ^ "Lady Dorothy Browne, née Mileham; Sir Thomas Browne". Art UK. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Tate acquires its earliest work by a woman artist" (Press release). London: Tate Gallery. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 1 July 2018. This new acquisition is the earliest work by a woman artist to enter the collection.
  13. ^ Bendor Grosvenor; Adam Busiakiewicz (21 September 2016). "Tate acquires rare Joan Carlile portrait". Art History News. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  14. ^ Roclyn Sulcas (21 September 2016). "A 17th-Century Portrait Will Be the Earliest Painting by a Woman at the Tate". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Elizabeth Murray, Countess of Dysart (1626–1698), with her First Husband, Sir Lionel Tollemache (1624–1669), and her Sister, Margaret Murray, Lady Maynard (c.1638–1682)". National Trust Collections. National Trust. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  16. ^ "Elizabeth Murray (1626–1698), Countess of Dysart, with Her First Husband, Sir Lionel Tollemache (1624–1669), and Her Sister, Margaret Murray (c.1638–1682), Lady Maynard". Art UK. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Elizabeth Murray (c.1630–1698), Countess of Dysart and Duchess of Lauderdale". Art UK. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  18. ^ "The Carlile Family with Sir Justinian Isham in Richmond Park". Art UK. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  19. ^ Germaine Greer (2001). The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work. London and New York: Tauris Parke. pp. 255–256. ISBN 1-86064-677-8.
  20. ^ "Stag hunt in Richmond Park". The art world in Britain 1660 to 1735. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  21. ^ "Some works of Anna Joan Carlile". Arcadja. Retrieved 18 February 2016.