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Wilfred Gabriel De Glehn (British, 1870-1951)

Paintings

Also known as:  Glehn, Wilfred Gabriel de; Glehn, Wilfred Gabriel von

Biography:
Throughout his career, Wilfred Gabriel de Glehn, England's most famous Impressionist painter, was linked to his friend and colleague, the American expatriate John Singer Sargent. Born in 1870 in the London suburb Sydenham, de Glehn studied at Brighton College and the Royal College of Art before finishing his art training at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His École friend Edwin Austin Abbey introduced him to Sargent in 1895, who hired de Glehn to help him execute a portion of the Boston Public Library murals. It was on one of these trips to America that de Glehn met the New York portraitist Jane Emmet, whom he married in 1904. The couple soon after bought a house near Sargent's studio in Chelsea, and they embarked on the first of many trips with him to Venice, Florence, Lake Garda, Cofu, Switzerland, and Spain. Abroad, de Glehn and Sargent painted outdoors side-by-side, refining their gestural brushwork, dappled light, and vibrant color; on one occasion, Sargent memorialized the de Glehns as artists in The Fountain, Villa Torlonia , Frascatti, in which he depicts Wilfred watching Jane paint.

After World War I, during which he served on the front and in a hospital in France, de Glehn established a successful career as a portrait painter, both in London and the United States. While his early landscapes had reflected Sargent's bright palette, de Glehn later developed his own brand of Impressionism, which borrowed from John Constable's atmospheric tonalism.

Elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1932, de Glehn concentrated the last ten years of his life in southern France and at his English estate, The Manor House in Stratford Tony, where he continued to paint landscapes and handsome portraits of dignitaries, friends, and family.

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