Portrait of a Lady – Jane de Glehn

de Glehn - JaneAmerican figure and portrait artist Jane Erin Emmet de Glehn was born in New Rochelle, New York in 1873.  She was the youngest daughter of a family of 10 children and a descendant from an illustrious artistic family.  She was also a particular favorite cousin of Henry James.

Jane Emmet first studied art at New York’s Art Students League  under Frederick William MacMonnies.  She then traveled to Europe to view the work of the Grand Masters and after returning to the U.S.,  she met notable late British Impressionist artist, Wilfrid de Glehn (1870–1951).  In 1904, they married in her native home of New Rochelle. Following their marriage, they honeymooned in Cornwall, England and later made their permanent home in London and vacationed in France and Italy.

It was here in England that Jane continued to draw and paint, working mainly in chalk and charcoal whilst exhibiting her work at the New English Art Club, the Royal Academy and the Royal Hibernian Academy.

  • Jane and her husband became frequent traveling companions of John Singer Sargent, whom Jane had met at a performance of the dancer Carmencita in 1890.
  • Whilst traveling throughout Europe between 1905-1914, this same trio often depicted each other in their artistic works.
  • However, when WWI broke out, the de Glehn’s joined the British hospital Hôpital Temporaire d’Arc-en-Barrois, for French soldiers in Haute-Marne, France.
  • On their return to England in 1917, Wilfrid was commissioned and seconded to the Front in Italy.

For the next decade the two would spend summers in Cornwall and winters in France.

  • Regardless of their ideology, Jane was not a prolific artist, preferring to exhibit her work alongside those of her husband.
  • However, in 1940, Jane shared an art exhibition with her sister Lydia Field Emmet.

After her husband’s untimely death in 1951, Jane spent much of her time casually sketching her extended family and members of her social circle.  She and Wilfrid had no children and she died on 20th February, 1961.

  • The image featured above is entitled: The Port of St. Tropez (oil on canvas 43.5 x 53cm) by Jane Emmet de Glehn.

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