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 Wilfrid Gabriel De Glehn  (1870 - 1951)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts / United Kingdom/England      Known for: easel and mural painting, impressionist landscape, marine and figure

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Ad Code: 2
Wilfrid Gabriel De Glehn
from Auction House Records.
Under the Willows
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Wilfred de Glehn was thoroughly cosmopolitan in his upbringing and outlook. He was born Wilfred Gabriel von Glehn in Sydenham, South London, and was educated at Brighton College. His father, Alexander von Glehn, was involved in the building of narrow-gauge railways in France, as well as being a coffee-merchant. Wilfred left Brighton College in 1889, spent a very brief period at the Royal Academy Schools, South Kensington, and had enrolled at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris by 1891.

Wilfred first met John Singer Sargent when he was still a student at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The American painter Edwin Austin Abbey hired Wilfred as his assistant on the ambitious mural decorations that he and Sargent had been commissioned to produce for the Boston Public Library. This working relationship developed into a firm friendship that lasted far beyond the period of the commission. Wilfrid and Sargent shared a fundamental cosmopolitan outlook.

In April of 1941 the de Glehns' home and studios of nearly forty years at Cheyne Walk were completely destroyed by a parachute bomb, which hit the neighboring Old Church in Chelsea. Having spent many of the months since the war had been declared with Wilfred's brother in Grantchester, near Cambridge, any plans to return home to London were now impossible. With so many of their old friends gone from the area too, including Sargent, there seemed little point in renting elsewhere in Chelsea. In March of 1942 the de Glehns moved permanently to their new home in Stratford Tony, not far from the house they had been renting at Wilton in Wiltshire.

Trinity House Fine Art Consultants

Biography from Abby M Taylor Fine Art:
Wilfrid-Gabriel de Glehn was born in 1870 in Sydenham, England, a suburb of London.  His father was a coffee importer, but his mother, being French, allowed Wilfrid the opportunity of staying with relatives frequently in France, thus becoming thoroughly bilingual.  He entered Brighton College before matriculating at the Royal College of Art in South Kensington.  He completed his formal art education at the Ecoles des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

Shortly afterwards, in 1895, he was introduced to John Singer Sargent by Edwin Austin Abbey.  At this time, Sargent was working on the Boston Public Library murals and was looking for someone to assist him with the Frieze of the Prophets. De Glehn helped only during the earlier stages of the murals, but his friendship with Sargent was to last a lifetime.

At this time, de Glehn had embarked on his own career in England, but it was not until he went to the United States in 1903 to assist in the installation of the Boston Library panels that he met his wife-to-be, Jane Emmet.  Ms. Emmet came from a distinguished family of painters, and in 1896, she had traveled to Europe to study in Paris with the American sculptor and painter, Frederick MacMonnies.  Sargent had been concerned that de Glehn would want to stay in America after his announcement of marriage to Emmet was made public, but this concern proved to be unfounded, and Jane was quickly accepted into Sargent's close-knit social group.

Marriage brought ten prolific years for de Glehn.  During this period, 1904-1914, he and his wife traveled extensively with Sargent throughout Venice, Florence, Switzerland and Spain.  But World War I brought about an abrupt change to their "Joie de vivre", and the de Glehn's became actively involved in the Allied War efforts.

In 1923, de Glehn was elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy, and in 1932 he was made a full Academician.  During this time, he also maintained a successful practice as a portrait painter in London and traveled to United States every other autumn to fulfill commissions.  De Glehn was very involved with the British Impressionist movement throughout his career.

Biography from Questroyal Fine Art, LLC:
Born in England in 1870 as Wilfrid Gabriel von Glehn, the artist decided to style himself "de Glehn" to avoid being targeted by growing animosity towards Germans leading up to the World Wars. A close friend of John Singer Sargent and other American expatriate artists, he married American painter Jane Erin Emmet in 1904. While the de Glehns spent most of their time traveling and painting throughout Europe, primarily in Italy and Greece, they also made several trips to New England. He studied at the École de Beaux-Arts in Paris and became a member of both the Royal Academy in London and the New English Art Club. de Glehn exhibited at the Carnegie Institute regularly, as well as at the Art Institute of Chicago

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