British painter Sheila Girling, who died on 14 February, was married for 63 years to sculptor Anthony Caro. They supported one another’s work – two artists happily living and working side by side for more than six decades. How rare is this? Are there other notable art couples, or is the usual pattern more one-sided and exploitative, or otherwise troubled?
Artists, after all, are often driven, egotistical characters. Living easily with others is not always a great artist’s best skill. Van Gogh alienated the women he pursued, and his attempt to share space with Gaugin, the Yellow House, in Arles, ended in violent self-harm.