About this artwork

This lively watercolour was made shortly before Jane Welsh married Thomas Carlyle in 1826. Beautiful and brilliant, Jane never really employed her gifts, and theirs was a marriage in which they both loved and frustrated each other. After her death in 1866, Carlyle wrote ' I have no Portrait of my lost Darling; nothing but a Miniature (taken by Macleay shortly before our marriage); it has the fine sunny simile of her face, but wants the sharp delicacy of featuring'. Just four years earlier Jane had mentioned this picture in a letter, describing it as 'a memorial of the three happiest weeks I have lived for a long time'.

Kenneth Macleay

Kenneth Macleay