Partner Ethel Walker

Queer Places:
38 Cheyne Walk, London N21 1DE, UK
White Cottage, Toat Lane, Pulborough, UK
The UCL Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, Gower St, Kings Cross, London WC1E 6BT
Putney School of Art and Design, Oxford Rd, Putney, London SW15 2LQ, UK
Wilton Pl, Dublin, Ireland
Tymon Lodge, Tymon Rd, Tymon Park, Dublin 24, Ireland
Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland

Clara Louise Christian McCarthy (1868 - June 7, 1906) was a painter of landscapes, interiors and still life. She married on 11 January 1905 at the Church of the Redeemer, Chelsea, to Charles James McCarthy (1858–1947), the City Architect of Dublin. They lived in Wilton Place, Dublin. She died in childbirth at her house Tymon Lodge, Tallaght, Co. Dublin, aged 38.

She studied at the Slade School and exhibited her work widely in Britain from 1885.

Clara Christian met Ethel Walker (1861 – 1951) at Putney School of Art. They begin living, working and studying together first in Pulborough in Sussex then in Chelsea. They travelled together to Spain and stopped in Paris on their return meeting George Moore (1852 – 1933) at the New English Art Club. The novelist was noted for portraying prostitution, extramarital sex and lesbianism, themes the Impressionists, with whom he mixed and wrote about, also tackled. His books ‘A Drama in Muslin’ (1886), a satire set in Anglo-Irish society and Esther Waters (1894) have undercurrents of same-sex relationships among the unmarried daughters of the gentry. His favourite motto was “to be ashamed of nothing but of being ashamed.”

Christian owned two houses in Cheyne Walk, London and one at number 38 was converted into studios and this was where Walker lived and worked there for the rest of her life. Christian visited Ireland in 1900 and became the mistress of George Moore in 1901 and appears as ‘Stella’ in his three volume memoire ‘Hail and farewell’ (1911-14); Ethel Walker is ‘Florence’. Christian encouraged Moore to write stories, and influenced his use of painterly devices in his later works. Christian ended the relationship with Moore in 1904 and married architect Charles McCarthy in 1905 but died in childbirth shortly afterwards. She presented her painting Meditations to High Lane's gallery shortly before her death.


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